You see, at the beginning of this week, I had set myself the goal of completing every single one of a dozen or so items relating to home upkeep and repair that I had written out on a “to do” list. I am now proud to say that, six days later, I have completed all of them.
The last one on the list was accomplished this afternoon. It had to do with the relatively simple process of filling cracks that had formed underneath the edges of the the concrete on my patio and the driveway. Having studied on this for same time, I concluded that the best way to address this issue was to use an insulating foam sealant product known as “Great Stuff”.
Now, to be sure, “Great Stuff” is indeed a great product. It does exactly what it purports to do. When sprayed into a crack or hollow space, it fills the entire area with a foam that eventually hardens into a hard, concrete-like substance. My own testimony is that, true to its claims, it did just that when applied to the various holes and cracks in my own concrete.
That is what helped make this, for me, the best of days. But one other quality of “Great Stuff” is what helped make this, for me, the worst of days for me. This latter quality was only apparent to me when I actually read the fine print AFTER I had applied the foam to my faulty concrete. It said to be sure to wear gloves so as to avoid contact with my hands and skin. It further said to wipe it off immediately if this somehow still happened.
Sadly, like so many impetuous homeowners, I failed to read the directions clearly before I used the product. Not surprisingly, I paid the inevitable price. For it was only when I was done, when I attempted to wipe off the excess foam (that I had, by then, gotten all over my fingers and hands) that I discovered my true mistake.
As the foam hardened, I found myself in that eerily similar situation that I had only experienced once before, when, as a kid, I had once applied Elmer’s Glue to my fingertips and allowed it harden. The result was that I had no sense of touch whatsoever in my fingertips. The most basic of my five basic senses had effectively been compromised!
Not surprisingly, I tried repeatedly to get this newfound substance off of my fingers and hands - all to no avail. I threw everything available at the problem but the proverbial kitchen sink! I tried soap and water, lighter fluid, mineral spirits, kerosene, gasoline, “Goof Off”, “Go Jo”, “Clorox”, and even steel wool – again, all to no avail!
Then, at the insistence of my wife, I swallowed my pride and actually read the instructions on the side of the can. It said simply to use only a substance containing “acetone”, such as nail polish, removal to remove the residue - which I immediately did.
The result? Voila! I soon had squeaky clean fingertips, and squeaky clean whole fingers, and even squeaky clean whole hands! Would that I had read the instructions sooner!!!
As I have reflected on this whole matter, I have been reminded of what happened to Adam and Eve in the opening chapters of the Biblical Book of Genesis. They had both been given the ground rules by Almighty God right up front. For whatever reason, however, they had completely ignored these, and bulled right ahead.
The result, to say the least, was that they wound up in a mess; for the consequences of their choice to do it their way and not God’s way were immediately apparent. The results of sin were all over them.
Immediately, of course, they set about trying to remedy the situation. Yet, nothing they tried was sufficient. No action on their part, no amount of fig leaves, as it were, could undo the mess they were in.
And then, into this fiasco, stepped their loving Heavenly Father. He provided the only solution that was sufficient for their predicament. He covered them with animal skins. And in so doing, He established the principle of vicarious or substitutionary death, wherein one entity willfully died on behalf of another.
Thereafter, of course, this principle culminated in the vicarious death of God’s One and Only Son, Jesus Christ, for the sins of all men and women in all times and all places.
And there you have it. Voila! Adam and eve had ignored the instructions given to them up front. As a result, they had paid the price and suffered the full consequences.
Nevertheless, the one and only solution had still been proffered to them. And when applied, the substitutionary death of another on their behalf had made all the difference. For they had been cleansed and made whole!
Such is my exactly my testimony; for I, too, had ignored the clearly enumerated ground rules of God. I too had then paid the price and suffered the consequences. Yet, further investigation had revealed that the one and only true solution to my physical predicament was available all the time – in a simple bottle of nail polish remover. Likewise, the solution to my spiritual predicament as well, was available all the ten - in the person of Jesus Christ,
Are you suffering today from the consequences of sin? Are the inevitable costs and/or disfigurements of sin readily apparent in your own life? If so, you have two choices. You can spend your time fruitlessly pursuing your own possible solution(s), or you can apply the one and only solution your Heavenly Father has proffered: the blood of His One and Only Son, Jesus Christ, which alone, according to the Bible (in the First New Testament Letter of John, chapter 1, verse 7), “purifies us from all sin”.
In light of these things, I would venture to ask just how dirty you are? And just what needs to be done about that?
DICKENS QUOTE: http://www.quotationspage.com/quote/29595.html.
SCRIPTURE SOURCE: https://biblehub.com/1_john/1-7.htm.