The last few weeks I have been pondering an idea that is far from new! It is a truth I have held dear since before I can even remember consciously embracing it. Followers of Christ accept a basic principle the moment they recognize the authority of the Holy Spirit in their lives…it’s the knowledge that Christ came to die for our sins and wash us clean.
A verse that I looked up before I even started this post was 1 Corinthians 6:11, “And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. ” The main reason that I began thinking on this truth afresh is because of a beautiful song that I love to listen to. It’s called “Washed by the Water” by Needtobreath.
The thing I love about this song is that it reminds us that life is filled with difficult situations but through these times we find redemption. I think part of it for me is also looking at this idea with a new perspective because of where I live. I know that might sound a bit odd but living in this area we see A LOT of rain. Sometimes I get frustrated by the dreariness it brings but thinking about it from the perspective this song encourages I see how rain also cleanses us. Rain can be horrible, devastating, terrifying but it can also be pure, clean, and refreshing. The funny thing is that I have been thinking about this off and on over the last month as we all patiently wait for Spring to arrive in all its glory. But on the days that rain seems the weather forecast for the whole day, I do take a moment to celebrate all it does for us…then I started reading this great book by Francine Rivers, “Her Daughter’s Dream” (c. 2010).
A part of this rings true to my own life but what struck me was one particular exchange:
“They walked along the beach together, not saying anything. Boots didn’t seem worried about the blanket. When they turned back, she bent and scooped up a stick, twirling it in her hand like a baton. ‘You’re eating yourself up with guilt and worry, Carolyn, and it’s got to stop.’ She stopped and jabbed the stick into the moist sand. ‘Write down every sin you’ve committed right here in the sand. Let it all out.’ She walked up the beach onto dry sand, spread the blanket and sat. ‘Take your time!’ she called out. She lay back, arms beneath her head, and crossed her ankles.
Carolyn barely managed to write a few words before a wave came and washed them away. She wrote more, and the waves came in again, erasing her words. She wrote and wrote, and each time the sea came and swept away her confession. She didn’t know how long she bent to the task before she finished. Her feet were numb from the cold water. She tossed the stick into the surf and watched it carried out. For the first time in weeks, her chest didn’t feel like someone was sitting on it.
‘Finished?’ Boots called.
The picture to the left reminds me of this exchange. Having read it I was reminded of the many times I struggle with understanding how to let go of the wrongs in my life. Either done because of my sinful nature or against me. Either way my human nature instinctively clings to remembering each incident as if to disallow God’s redeeming grace to cover and cleanse these wrongs.
As I reflected on this amazing new visual I envisioned myself in the shoes of this character. Stepping onto a beautiful, perfect scene created with such unique talent and power being marred by the imperfection of my words scratched deep into the earth. The ugliness it creates, such a tragedy to gaze upon. But the water comes to return this pristine panorama to its original beauty. The water is healing and redemptive in nature. It actually does wash away the words and the sand returns to the way it was.
I was so struck by the reality of this analogy. Then I thought more about the last few words. I realized that each day brings its challenges and each day I will likely be at the edge of this water writing the sins I’ve committed and each day the waves will wash them away. BUT…what I can find complete and utter safety in…is the words spoken on the cross…the words that have new meaning for me as I realize that although I know each day is test in my faith I no longer need to question whether or not I will find redemption…”IT IS FINISHED”…spoken by the man who gave His life to secure my cleansing and give me a life eternal.
I realize water is a metaphor for the blood of Christ but what I LOVE about this world we live in, is that our Creator has made ALL things to bring us back to Him…to remind us of the relationship we need.
The next time you feel yourself down in the dumps during a rain storm, play that song and spend a few minutes worshiping. You’ll find your spirit uplifted and your perspective renewed.