One weekend, I was at home doing our weekly cleaning: washing clothes, cleaning bathrooms, dusting–all the fun stuff.
For some reason, I like to clean the bathrooms. Perhaps because when I was young, this was my chore. But this day turned out differently. As I mopped the floors, I cut my finger. I wouldn’t have noticed had I not noticed blood trailing behind where I had mopped. I figured I’d deal with the wound later. I had to empty and fill the bucket with water continuously because the dirt and blood quickly changed the clean water dirty. I eventually had to stop and put a band-aid on my finger.
The Lord reminded me we cannot continue to wipe over our dirty places with more dirt and expect them to get clean. We must stop and address the situations before we can expect positive results.
Applied directly to a wound, a band-aid not only protects the wound from the outer environment, but it also prevents the spread of infection. If I had continued mopping, my floor would have been worse than when I started. I might have risked a horrible infection as well. I needed to acknowledge my need to apply salve and the band-aide.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, And cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, And my sin is ever before me.~Psalm 51:2-3 NASB
King David is a prominent figure in the Bible. Because of his sins against God, we learn how God deals with sin. The prophet Nathan confronted him about his hidden transgressions. In Psalms 51, we read David’s prayer. He lays everything on the line. He comes to God in humility with expectation.When we come before God with our dirt, He knows how to clean us on the surface and at the core of our being. His soul cleansing provides more than temporal relief. Like band-aids or buckets, He wants to make us new and does through His Son’s gift of salvation.
O Lord, restore us and cause your face to shine upon us, and we will be saved.~Psalm 80:3 NASB
The restoration Jesus offers is permanent. The root word “restore” is mentioned 136 times in the Bible. Webster defines it as the action of returning something to a former owner, place, or condition. God’s desire is that we return to wholeness and remain in that state. This type of restore in Hebrew, hashibenu, means “turned again” or “to bring us back to flourishing.”
We gain an incredible sense of joy from knowing God can turn us around from the inside out. He can complete us when we are honest and willing to permit Him to. Unlike the bucket and the band-aid, which are temporal fixes, God is not interested in wiping us over. He wants to fix the underlying problem and heal us at our core.
Three steps will help us experience God’s restoration:
We must confess.
Confession is admitting to a punishable offense. Only when we own up to wrongdoing can the process of change begin. It does not matter what we have done. Hope exists.
We must recognize we have sinned against God and need His forgiveness.
To feel bad is not enough. Feelings are only temporary fixes. When we acknowledge the source affected by our wrong, it prevents us from constant hurt.
We must change our behavior, one step at a time, as God leads us.
Only then will we feel the presence of Jesus Christ and flourish in our daily lives as He completes His work within us.
Let us never settle for temporary fixes. Let’s desire to be restored to the Father by leaning into Jesus Christ. This takes work because we must tune ourselves to the Lord’s instruction, but the outcome will be worth it.
In what area of your life do you need God’s cleansing grace?
Lord God, help me to yield those areas of my life where ruin knocks at my door. Give me the right perspective, humility, and the willingness to allow You to fix the deepest wounds of my heart, especially those areas where I feel ashamed. Apply to these Your salve of grace. I am Your workmanship, and I yield every area of my life to You.
In Jesus’ name, amen.
Copyright 2021: Buckets and Band-aides, or Restoration: Charles E. Maldon, Jr.: All Rights Reserved