My wife recently went grocery shopping and brought back the most wonderful, magical product. I was absolutely enthralled by the name: “Miracle Cleaning Eraser.” The package claims, “Cleans just about anything.” “Removes scuffs and soap scum.” This is, of course, an awesome, much cheaper Wal-Mart knockoff of Mr. Clean’s “Magic Eraser” sponge. The most interesting thing about this product is that for being a “miracle,” it comes in this little, plain white box.
Recently my wife and daughter were using this product to clean tough, nasty stains off our old claw-foot bathtub. These stains were the work of my 11-year-old son’s constant experiments with the outdoors. Let me tell you: this product really works!
Afterward, my wife and daughter, being the froufrou, feminine girls that they are (this is a good thing), wanted the bathroom to not only be clean, but also to “smell nice.” So they sprayed some awesome, cheaper, Wal-Mart brand odor eliminator with some fancy-sounding name like “Himalayan Mountain Unicorn Breath.”
No matter what we do, we have to come back at the end of the day and re-connect with Jesus.
Immediately afterward, in stomped our son, sensing a disturbance in the balance of filthy. He smelled like a wet goat; with his rubber rain boots, no socks (summer in Georgia, mind you), and trees growing under his fingernails. He looked at his mother and sister, inhaled deeply, and said one of the most deeply spiritual things an 11 year-old can say: “Ahhhhh, I like the smell of clean!”
Of course, he was talking about the smell of our newly sprayed bathroom, which by the way, he totally destroyed shortly thereafter. But his statement made me think about my spiritual life, and yours as well.
Each of us is blessed in the way that we can come to Jesus, who is like that incredible little plainly packaged Miracle Cleaning Eraser. We confess our sin, repent, and have that sin totally erased from our dirty, evil, selfish self. John promised: “If we confess our sins to God, he can always be trusted to forgive us and take our sins away” (1 John 1:9, CEV[*]). In Isaiah God says, “I, the Lord, invite you to come and talk it over. Your sins are scarlet red, but they will be whiter than snow or wool” (Isa. 1:18, CEV).
But once we get clean, how do we stay clean? Well, the Bible covers that as well. It’s found in John 15:1-7. I know that my elevator doesn’t always go to the very top, but even I can’t miss the main point of what Jesus was saying: to have a healthy and intimate relationship with God—to stay clean—we have to be and stay connected to Him.
Now, once we’ve gotten connected, just stay there! No matter what kind of good or bad things happen to us, we have to stay connected to Him.
The 12 disciples spent more than three years with Jesus. They woke up with Him; they ate with Him; they watched Him teach, preach, heal, and love people. During the day, I’m sure they left His side for a while to pick up food or visit somebody who was sick, or go somewhere and preach. But at the end of the day they always came back and ended their day re-connecting with Jesus.
So it is that during the day, no matter what we do, whom we’re with, or where we go, we have to come back at the end of the day and re-connect with Jesus. When we succeed—and especially when we fail—come back to Jesus. Tell Him all about the good and bad, the wins and losses. Unload on Him. Connect with Him. Confess your sins, and let that connection magically and powerfully erase all the grime, dirt, and sin of the day.
When we do this day in and day out, I promise, not only will we be able to stay spiritually clean, but we—and more importantly, God—will like the way we smell of clean.
Omar Miranda, a counselor and writer, lives with his family in unplain Plainville, Georgia.
[*] Scripture quotations identified CEV are from the Contemporary English Version. Copyright ã American Bible Society 1991, 1995. Used by permission.