Ask any 10 year old what the fastest way to clean up his bedroom is and the standard answer will go something like this:
Throw all toys under the bed.
Throw all papers in the garbage.
Throw all clothes in the dirty laundry.
In my house of five boys, laundry really piles up.
If you were to drop in unexpectedly, you’d have a hard time sitting on the couch downstairs because it’s always piled high with mountains of unfolded, but clean, laundry.
Wait! Who am I kidding?
If you were to drop in unexpectedly, you’d have a hard time finding the couch downstairs because it’s always piled high with mountains of unfolded, but clean, laundry!
One day, when the boys were at their father’s house, I sat for hours in front of I can’t tell you how many cheesy Lifetime Original Movies and folded socks.
83 pairs of them.
Yes, I counted.
And I took photos.
And then I lost the SD card with the photos. It’s probably in one of the three laundry baskets still filled with unmatched, but clean, socks.
I’m sure I’ll find it one day and post nothing but photos of neatly folded socks just for the sheer joy of it!
But stories of socks are for another day.
This morning laundry was about more than folded socks.
This morning, when I went to do laundry before the boys even woke up, I found them in there again, not neatly folded socks, but several neatly folded pairs of pants and shirts.
I looked in amazement at where I guessed our couch should be. How had clean, neatly folded clothing ended up in the dirty laundry pile? I didn’t think anyone here even knew how to fold, but here it was – PROOF that someone, somewhere, at some time had folded clothes in our home.
The clothes, pressed completely flat, were obviously clean and yet, after sitting in the basement laundry for a day or two, “clean” was not really clean anymore, and they were certainly not as sweet smelling as they should have been considering they hadn’t been worn!
I pulled out item after item of flat, folded clothing that now needed to be washed, dried, folded, and put away again.
And I felt my frustration mount as I found more and more clothes that needed rewashing.
But then I also wondered about the frustration God must feel when He has told us over and over again,
“I’ve got this.
Put it away.
Don’t bring out things I’ve washed and made clean
and throw them in with the dirty stuff.
Work on the real dirty stuff.
But wear the stuff I’ve made clean.
Show off how you’ve been made new.
Show how straight you stand, starched and pressed and strong.”
And yet we often throw our past hurts in with the good God has given us only serving to stain the good.
We mix our good with the bad, our clean with our dirty, making everything seem dirty and smelly – when it’s not.
Sometimes life can be rough. Sometimes even when we think we’ve been through our bad patches and things should be getting easier, something throws us for a loop or we do something we shouldn’t have done, said something we shouldn’t have said, or thought something we shouldn’t have thought, and then it seems like everything is going wrong, that we, “just can’t catch a break” or that we will never be good enough.
But that is not so.
Jesus makes all things new again.
Each of us has things today we can work on. Pieces of ourselves that we need to present to our Lord for cleaning, but there are parts of us that have already made new in the blood of Jesus.
No matter how bad your past, no matter how much you screwed up, no matter how deep your wounds…they have been washed clean in the blood of Jesus.
You have new Life clean and pressed by God, ready to wear in celebration.
You have been washed clean and made new in Him.
Your Father doesn’t want you to mix the old past hurts, the haunting memories, the ugly stains you try to hide, stains Jesus has removed completely, to be worn in with what you face today. Put on your new, clean life.
How will you put away the dirty laundry of your life and wear what Jesus has washed clean for you?
Please pray for those trapped by their dirty laundry (In my case, literally and figuratively ;) )