Spring weather in the Midwest can sometimes be felt in late February, starting with days of sunshine spilling out; warming everything with the touch of bright rays. Tempestuous weather begins in this season; snow may be flying tomorrow, tornadoes or rain can come, and between are the sweetest of early spring days. As the ground starts to thaw, I can smell the warming moist earth. Greens show themselves in subtle shading of rose canes and early tree buds swelling with new life. The sun is coming earlier and leaving later in the day; delighting me to find the darkest days of winter behind.
Yesterday was one of those sun-warmed days. The back of my house is sun-facing for the majority of the day so I was able to throw up open the windows to let in fresh air. After a long shuttered winter, there is something invigorating and fresh about opening a house to days feeling of spring. I could hear neighbors out visiting, smell grills behind fired up, and enjoyed the giggles and squeals of children playing in their yards – set free to stretch after their winter confinement. The smell of closed-up house leaves and fresh air enters with the breeze, sweetening each room.
“This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
1 John 1:5-9
Sitting at the table, doing a little research, I could feel the breeze touching my face. As I appreciated the feel of the fresh air and its cleaning touch, I thought about how the cleansing of grace offers me the same refreshing. It blows away the old, stale and stagnant air to replace it with what is pure and clean. The words in 1 John struck me newly as I opened the windows at home. I choose to open the windows, but I cannot force the fresh air to enter. It enters as a gift, a movement of wind which I have no power to control.
In the same way, I choose to open the windows of my heart in confession to be instructed by God. I cannot choose to make mercy or grace enter my heart. It is God’s gift that they come and cleanse and freshen with their presence. “He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” What an incredible gift, a taste of which arrives in early spring days.