I've regaled you with how much I enjoy my morning oatmeal,nuts and all. Unfortunately, healthy habits can come with a price, like scraping the bottom of the pan. I love my oatmeal, but honestly, I think the slime it leaves could be used as wallpaper paste. This is one pan Tom chooses to leave to me.
Thanks to John Maxwell, I've come to appreciate my silly systems. Systems like letting the oatmeal pan soak before scraping or scrubbing.
I think God, perhaps, is a systems guy, probably the creator of systems. He certainly has a plan for seeking and saving His children.
Look at it this way. If someone has a hundred sheep and one of them wanders off, doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine and go after the one? And if he finds it, doesn’t he make far more over it than over the ninety-nine who stay put? Your Father in heaven feels the same way. He doesn’t want to lose even one of these simple believers.
Matthew 18:11-13 MSG
From time everlasting, God had made a choice and created a system to make that happen.
God chose to give His creatures free will. He knew it came with dangers to us and potential rejection of Him. Which of us doesn't have regrets over a choice we wish we had made differently? How often have our choices broken God's heart?
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
Isaiah 53: 6 RSV
Sometimes God's system includes soaking us in His warm, soothing love. Other times, He nudges us to remove stains of sin from our lives.
And if He absolutely has to, if the stains are so deep that the pan is no longer serviceable, He pulls out the steel wool. Our Heavenly Father would rather inflict the temporary pain of a stiff scraping and scrubbing than throw us in the trash.
God sent His only Son to take our sins on Himself, to be scraped clean so our original value is reclaimed. Our value to ourselves and others.
Our value to God doesn't change, He loves us from the beginning, through the middle, no matter how messy or stained, until the very end. In His wisdom, He understands that if we don't recognize and accept our personal value to Him, it will remain a challenge to choose Him. We must be made clean.
I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek thy servant, for I do not forget thy commandments.
Psalm 119:176 RSV
How do you get out of the sink? How do you regain your personal sense of value, and reclaim your position as a child of the King?