In the Refiner's Fire - White as Snow

Okay, so this photo really doesn't do these justice, but these are my children's shiny white tennis shoes, all ready for the first day of school.  I wrote yesterday how their shiny white shoes and their pristine white socks stuck with my through the day.  So clean and pristine - no scuffs, no spots, no been-washed-too-many-times gray-ness, no worn-out soles, and no frayed laces.  Just clean and white and ready for wear.

I was thinking about that all day on Tuesday. I couldn't get it out of my head.

Isn't that how we start out in life?  Shiny and new.  I remember holding my brand new babies and thinking about how they had none of the scuffs and stains of sin that we have as adults, or even that they have now as 5-year-olds.  I remember thinking that I would do nothing to mar that pristine newness.  I would be the perfect mom - always patient, always kind, leading and teaching my children by example and helping them to grow into perfect, self-less, loving and humble human beings.

Ha!  (I'll wait here a minute so you can pick yourself up off the floor from laughing your head off....)

I am so human and so are my children. 

I have so many days when I am definitely not a decent human being much less the perfect mom.  I have days when I holler, shout, do something I shouldn't, and am just plain mean.  I have days when I think "Why me?"  or "What about me?" or "Do I really have to?" (include whining where appropriate!)  I have days when my kids irritate me, my husband irritates me, the people I work irritate me, the clerk at the store or the next guy in line irritates me.  I have days when I wake up grumpy and never get my head on straight until I go to sleep that night. 

My children have days just like mine.  Days when things irritate them. Days when things don't go their way (just ask Missy about the Magnolia leaves that arrived yesterday from Grandma for Buddy - in a box that contained nothing for her!).  Days when they wake up grumpy and don't get their head back on straight until they go to sleep too.  Days when they whine, cry or throw an all-out tantrum. 

Certainly not the pristine sin-less people we were when we were born.

But isn't that the beauty of what Christ did for us? 

He died on the cross so that no matter how sinful we become we can be washed as white as snow (or those socks and shoes my children wore on Tuesday).  That no matter how many scuffs and streaks and worn spots we have at the end  of our life, we are born again into the perfect life the Lord prepares for us in heaven.  Not only that, but our baptism washes away those stains and replaces them with the beauty of the Lord today and every day too. 

You see, it's not about us.  It's all about Him.  And He is perfect and we too can reflect that perfect-ness.  No, not all the time - we are far to human for that.  But each day we can strive - with His help - to be a little more perfect, so that we become the people He wants us to be.

I know that by the time the school year is out these shoes will have scuff marks.  I know that the laces will be frayed and the soles roughed.  I know that the socks will have a gray tinge to them. 

And in the fall we will start all over again with new socks and shoes and that same pristine whiteness.

Isn't it good to know that God does the same thing for us each and every day? Washed in the water of baptism and made new again by His Grace and for His Glory.

Soli Deo Gloria.


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