13 Jul Tarnished No More
Last week I decided to do some cleaning which entailed cleaning out my closet. In the process of that daylong chore, I found two things that I would have sworn were gone forever; a pair of earrings and my journal from the college years.
The earrings are not anything fancy or expensive, just a simple pair of silver studs with balls on them. They were so black and covered in tarnish I almost didn’t recognize them. Just before I was about to toss them in the garbage, I picked up my jewelry cleaning cloth and gave one of them a rub. Instantly, I could see the shiny gloss of the metal coming back to life. With a few more strokes, one earring looked brand new, not a spot of decay on it anywhere. My phone rang and before I knew it, I was engrossed in something else and forgot all about cleaning the other earring.
That day over lunch, I took a trip back in time and read through my journal. It’s very safe to say that I was a completely different person back then, living for entirely the wrong things with no real focus on the Lord.
As I read entry after entry of what my actions of daily life looked like, I began to slip into grief and despair over who I had been way back when. Before I knew it, I was in a full blown episode of self abasement that included some harsh name calling of myself in my mind.
“Like the earrings, I was tarnished forever until God decided to bring me back to life by cleansing me from all of that sin in the past… and the present… and the future.”
I went on with my daily chores trying to push the depressing thoughts out. At one point I uttered, “oh Lord, what an awful person I was!” That was all it took for the Holy Spirit to speak to my heart and remind me “was” is the operative word in that statement; that’s no longer who I am!
I spotted those earrings again later that afternoon. It struck me that they are a great picture of what Christ did for me. Like the earrings, I was tarnished forever until God decided to bring me back to life by cleansing me from all of that sin in the past… and the present… and the future.
It amazes me how quickly I can forget that and how easily I believe the enemy’s lies that I’m still that person. The good news is nowadays I recognize the attack much sooner and can battle it with God’s truth.
“My eternal salvation is forever secure solely because of Christ’s work on the cross.”
Unlike the earrings, I only needed one cleaning for my life to be transformed forever. Yes, I still need to ask for forgiveness of daily sin I fall into but that’s more for my benefit; recognizing I am still a sinner and my continual need for a savior. My eternal salvation is forever secure solely because of Christ’s work on the cross.
One of the things that I am reminded of as Resurrection Sunday approaches is not only who I am now in Christ but also who I was made to be. Philippians 2:15 reminds me of this. I am to bring glory and honor to his name by the way I live as his child. That’s why he removed the tarnish from my life; so I could shine bright for him.
Heavenly Father you are so good. You took a broken, misguided soul and removed the corroded tarnish from my life. It is my great pleasure to be able to love you and serve you. Empower me Father to live a life that displays your shining righteousness and draw others to you.
– Beverly Kinard, Pelham