|Photo by Saqqibali 2017 |
In this dream I am living in a one-room cabin in a farming community. The leader of the encampment announces to all the settlers that we must each clear the path to our cabin of all stones and dirt, collect them in a container, and turn them in to him to be weighed. The total weight of stones and dirt on each cabin’s path would be announced the next day.
As I start raking my path, I am humiliated to realize how many stones have accumulated on the once level brick path, and how much dirt has crept into the mortar cementing the bricks together. I had prided myself on keeping a clean house, but now the poor upkeep of my path would be known to all, even to my next door neighbor who always put on airs as if she were superior to me.
Naturally, the handful of debris that she was gathering from her path looked miniscule next to the huge heap now blocking the entrance to my home. Still, I comforted myself in realizing that the man who lived across the way was even more slovenly than I, with massive boulders on his path, covered in soot and grime.
Finally it was time to turn in our piles of rocks and dirt and to have the weight tallied and announced. To add to my embarrassment, the only container I could find was a flimsy paper tray, resembling what fries might be served in at a fast food restaurant. Even that evidence of my contamination by the world would add to my guilt and shame.
As I started scooping handfuls of dirt and pebbles into the paper tray, a faint drizzle of rain moistened the dirt and the paper started to dissolve. Then the skies opened with drenching rain, washing away all traces of the dirt and pebbles. No need to gather the rest, for the flood had cleared away the whole mound of rocks not only from my path, but from all the others in the settlement.
The storm stopped as abruptly as it started, leaving only the refreshing scent of ozone and a dazzling rainbow in the clouds. As I awoke, I thought of how easy it is for worldly clutter, sin and weights (John 15:19; Hebrews 12:1) to creep into our life even when we think we are guarding our heart, mind and body (Psalm 51:10; 119:11; Romans 12:1-2) to keep us separated and set apart for His service (Leviticus 11:44-45; 20:7; 1 Peter 1:16)..
While we cling to the illusion that we are holy and pure (Matthew 19:17; Mark 10:18; Luke 18:19), it is all too easy to judge others for obvious faults in their lives, without recognizing our own (Matthew 7:3-5; Luke 6:41-42). Or we go to the opposite extreme, getting discouraged when we think we don’t measure up to the example of others (John 21:21-22; 1 John 3:20). But it is not for us to judge, for only God knows the hearts (Psalm 44:21;139:23; Luke 16:15; Acts 15:8;), and only He has that right (Romans 12:19; James 5:9).
The truth is, we have all been weighed in the balances and found wanting (Daniel 5:27). None of us on our own merits can meet the standards or keep the law set forth by Holy God. But thankfully, we don’t have to (Romans 8:1-4), for He gave His only begotten Son (John 3:16) to be the perfect sacrifice to pay for all our sins (Romans 3:25;.1 John 2:2; 4:10.
Now all those who are born again (John 3:3-7; 1 Peter 1:23) by placing their faith in His death, burial and resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) as the only Way to Heaven (John 14:6) are justified in His sight (Romans 3:20-30; 4:5-25; 5).. Now it is “just as if” we had never sinned, for His perfect righteousness is credited to our account. Now if we confess our sins, He is faithful and merciful to forgive us (1 John 1:9).
All our sins are washed away in His shed blood (Revelation 1:5), and Jesus, the Living Water (John 4:10; 7:38; Song of Solomon 4:15), washes us white as snow (Isaiah 1:18). He formerly cleansed the earth from all the wickedness of man by sending the great flood, and even now He allows storms into our lives for His purposes. Sometimes the storms show us where we have allowed the filth of sin to contaminate our lives; sometimes they demonstrate His awesome power to destroy and yet to restore; and always they strengthen our faith in and dependence on Him.
Just as He sent the first rainbow after the great flood to remind us of His promise to never again destroy the earth by flood (Genesis 9:13-16), we can be reassured by every rainbow of His power, mercy, grace, and infinite love (Ezekiel 1:28). Praise God that we have no need to judge one another, for He is the only One to Whom every knee will bow and tongue confess that He is Lord! (Romans 14:11; Philippians 2:10) Praise God that we can leave our burdens at the foot of His cross and be showered in blessings from His precious Fount!
© 2015 Laurie Collett
Reposted from the archives
This reminds me of the Pharisee's attitude towards the tax collector when both were in the Temple. From a human standpoint, the taxman looks to have a mountain of sin whilst the Pharisee appeared spotless and even boasted about it!
But God saw everything differently, and it was the taxman who returned home justified (Luke 18:9-14).
An excellent blog, God bless.
Good point -- men look at the outward appearance, but God knows the hearts. Jesus described the Pharisees at whited sepulchres -- pristine and attractive on the outside, but full of rotting, stinking bones within. Praise God that when he looks at His children, he sees only the perfect righteousness of His Son, and not our sin.
Thanks as always for your comment and God bless,
Thank you Laurie, your post brought to mind the various ways rocks and pebbles are brought up in scripture. Peter was Simon, but Jesus called him “pebble” ...I hear it as “rock” but Jesus is The Rock, we are pebbles, little rocks as we stand strong and firm by His bigger strength. Also, I often contemplate rocks and pebbles in scriptures as I encounter many while digging in my garden. Love you and thank you 🙏❤️
Great illustration of Christian living. It is not our efforts, but God's that gets rid of all the sin. Too often we are busy thinking about our successes or failures and don't simply let God take over. We rush into the garage to protect our accumulation so we can brag about what we've done, ile the Pharisee in the parable, instead of jusst confessing and letting God cleanse us.
Amen, Susan! Jesus is our Rock, our Firm Foundation, and He called Peter "Petra" or little stone. I am not a good gardener, having tried in NY state as well as in FL, and one of the hardest obstacles was the many rocks in the soil. Love you too and thanks as always for your comment,
Thanks, Donald! The apostle Paul said we must die daily to self, meaning giving up on the idea of doing things in our own flesh. May we have the wisdom to just let go and let God cleanse us and accomplish His perfect will in us.
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