Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Renovation of Old Remains

"God, who foresaw your tribulation, has specially armed you to go through it, not without pain, but without stain."

C.S. Lewis

A brown spot on an otherwise sterling white sink was noticeable at first glance. Thus, bleach was applied, along with other resources available in my little storage cubby where household cleansers are kept. I scrubbed, agitated, soaked. With an assortment of measures, which failed to remove the eyesore, I diligently spent time and energy, passionately pursuing a spotless kitchen sink. The blot ultimately began to wane. Bit by bit, it faded, yet still with relentless refusal, it barely clung to life, as if defiantly saying, "I will not be removed." But with time and relentless effort, I realized hope was ebbing for the blemish, and at last, the beauty of the sink would be restored.

Is our walk with Christ not likewise? We may have failures, shortcomings, mistakes, regrets. Spots. Stains. Scars that remain from our human frailties and sins. We read God's word and stand on his promises. Believe. Hope. Pray. With diligence. Until our own efforts leave us exhausted, frustrated, and confused.

No amount of human effort seems to relieve us of what remains of a long forgiven wrong. Perhaps we live with consequences of regrettable decisions, poor choices from our past. Perhaps we carry with us wounds from the offense of another. Or perhaps we are plagued with needless guilt and mindless reason. And the eyesore in our hearts stubbornly remains, refusing to be relinquished.

The old hymn "O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing" by Charles Wesley is one of glorious praise. It is beautiful music, with words that penetrate the soul, and, I believe, they are divinely inspired. The fourth verse raptures me each time I hear it.

He breaks the power of canceled sin,
He sets the prisoner free;
His blood can make the foulest clean,
His blood availed for me.

It's so true. Canceled sin, the past, can have power over our lives. But Jesus Christ can break that power, setting us free from whatever torments our minds and souls. His blood is beyond sufficiency. And it transforms our lives without any effort from us. Even those spots, the remaining scars of disobedience, He can dissolve, can heal, can blot out, restoring our beauty in Christ, giving us new life and new hope that is lived in freedom and joy.

Our lives are not like our computer programs. We cannot edit, deleting items we no longer need or deem valuable. No, we cannot change past decisions. We all have things we would "undo" or "cut" or "edit." But herein is God's grace greatly revealed.

The apostle Paul had a thorn in his flesh. What it was we do not know. But we do know that his response teaches us of the bottomless well of God's grace. After seeking the Lord to remove this "thorn," God's response was "My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness." And Paul stated that he would, rather than allowing this thorn to torment him, glory in his "infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me."

To turn his weakness into strength was the apostle's choice. As it is ours. Yes, Christ can break the power of canceled sin, he can remove the nagging stains, and he can most assuredly give us grace sufficient to live with remaining weaknesses or painful memories. Do not hesitate to trust him today to take care of your frailties. Christ, our redeemer, our Lord, is waiting, ready, more than able to meet with you, and as you call on him, he will treat you with utmost care and lovingly restore you and give you grace sufficient.

Scripture from II Corinthians 12: 7 - 10


  1. I cannot recall the number of times that I have wanted to "undo" something I have said or done. If we only had the ability to edit out things that were hurtful to ourselves or others... I am so grateful that Christ has covered all of my sins and continues to do so daily! I often again regret things for which I am forgiven and realize that Satan is working on me to keep my shame and discomfort alive in my mind. It is then that I turn to God and praise Him for His forgiveness and wonder! Blessings to you!

  2. As I was reading this post and listening to "The Visit to Green Gables" song on your playlist, I felt a peace come over me. So refreshing after a long day of work. :)

    Hugs & Blessings,


  3. Thank you for sharing these beautiful reminders of God's wondrous grace. The line "Until our own efforts leave us exhausted, frustrated, and confused." really struck a chord in my heart because not so long ago I was in that exact spot.

  4. Hello Andrea,
    What a wonderful analogy you've come up with and how perfectly written. I don't think I'll ever look at the spots in my sink the same way...there are MANY. I can scrub until I'm blue in the face, but they just won't come out. Now they will be a gentle reminder of His mercy and grace. Thank you!

    God bless,


  5. Thank you for this post. I needed it this morning:)



  6. Ah, Wesley and CS Lewis in the same post. Indeed, a good day!

    Full redemption...when our "past" begins to work for us rather than against us! It's taken me a long season to allow God his hands in my brokenness and only recently have I known the freedom from my past. He is working my "everything" into his plan.

    Recently, I spoke to a group of women about becoming "a living stone from brokenness," based on 1 Peter 2:4-5. I believe that God can use it all to shine for him, the good, the bad, and the "we'd rather forgets"! It takes time, just like your sink, but with true surrender and transparency before Him, we, like him, are being built into an everlasting kingdom.

    Today, I'm thankful for it all...past, present, and what's to be. May God grant me the willing strength to walk it all through, come what may.

    Thanks for checking in and your kind comments. It means so very much to me.


  7. It is nice to meet you Andrea,
    I have spent some time reading your post and they are so rich. I love to find blogs for my spirit!
    Eufaula is a sweet little town. I really love the people and especially our church home there. Southpoint Church.
    If you ever drive through and see me on the porch do stop for some sweet tea!

  8. What beautiful thoughts! I was especially touched by the phrase, "...the bottomless well of God's grace." His grace is so deep and unfathomable that at times the very thought astounds me. I don't deserve it but am glad I have it. Thank you for visiting.

  9. Wonderful post, I so needed this. Blessings to you.

  10. I stumbled upon your blog when I typed "power of canceled sin" into google, and I am so glad I did! I woke up with this song in my head, and have been singing it to myself all morning. I have currently had my eyes and heart opened to a sin in my life that had been (for lack of a better word) "hiding"... God has broken me in this process of repentance, but His healing is worth every minute. Your post is refreshing and encouraging. Thank you for using your gift of writing to be a blessing to others!


Thank you for visiting. I cherish your thoughts. You are special to me, but most of all, you are special to God, who loves you with everlasting love. May your life be swept into His joy and peace.

In the Wonderful Love of Christ our Savior,