Being a picture person I can relate to the cartoon character Pigpen in the Peanuts comic strip by Charles M. Schulz. He is a sweet child in the cartoon, dirty and there is always a little whirlwind of dust and grime circling him. He makes me think of the days that my children would come in from a long day of playing and I would make them strip down in the laundry room to prevent the dirt and grime brought in on their clothes from being drug throughout the house.
As their parent, I stood there with a smile on my face, listening to the fun they had and knowing under all that dirt was my perfect and beautiful child. There was nothing that they could ever do, no amount of dirt, grime, or naughty behavior that could ever make me love them any less. With each passing year I have prayed for them, their safety, their future, their spouses that someday God will bless them with, and, for them to be filled with the joy that comes from having a relationship with God.
They are my children and I want them to have a life of love, laughter and joy. I have so many things I would long for them to be blessed with. The list is long and my desire for them to achieve all their dreams will never cease within me. That is the role of a parent. Hmm? It makes me wonder if when God looks down upon us, His children, if we look like little pigpens ourselves. Going through life, covered in the dirt and grime that comes from our sin and shame? Sometimes we get so buried in the turmoil in our lives that are often a result of poor choices and from our un-repented sin, that everywhere we go and everything we do seems to create a whirlwind of chaos that circles us at all times. I can see that cartoon character Pigpen in my mind and that whirlwind of dirt and grime that circles him.
That has to break God’s heart. As a parent, He loves each of us. Jeremiah 29:11 says, for I know the plans I have for you “declares the Lord,” plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope for your future. God wants the best for each of us. He wants to clean us up from our sin and shame, He wants to pull us out of a life of brokenness and fill us with His joy and His peace. Life is hard, but with God we don’t need to be stuck standing in the mud, dirty, broken and ashamed, and trapped in that whirlwind. God is waiting for each of His children that have not yet come to Him to do so. He longs for them to cry out to Him. He wants to wash us clean from the sins and burdens of life. He wants to clothes us in righteousness, fill us with His love and forgiveness and give us a new life in Him.
He knows that all of His children are going to trip up and fall in the mud from time to time but when it happens He desires for us to turn to Him to let Him wash us clean with His forgiveness. He promises to never forsake us, and He will never let us carry our burdens alone. Some of us may be in a place that seems so overwhelming from the chaos that we see no way out, and we try to handle it on our own and fail. We become tired and sometimes depressed. God doesn’t want it like that for His children. He is waiting with open arms for us to look to Him for what we need: to look to Him to cleanse our soul and pick us up out of the mud. If we turn our eyes towards Him, He can and will get us out of the bonds of sin and shame. Psalms 25:15, tells us that: My eyes are forever on the LORD, for only He will release my feet from the snare (NIV). The King James Version says: for only He shall pluck my feet out of the net. Either way you look at it, only God can and will lift you out of whatever burdens are weighing you down or have trapped you in something unhealthy.
Let God wash you clean, His Grace is enough. Paul said it perfectly in 2nd Corinthians 12:9-11, But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness”. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For, when I am weak, then I am strong.
Wow!!! God’s grace is sufficient enough for each of us!!! I can’t figure out why we have such a hard time wrapping our heads around that. I know I have questioned it before but, when I really started to believe the truth in it my life changed. God is our parent and as I said earlier there is nothing that my kids could do that would keep me from loving them. The same goes for God. He will always love us no matter what.
If you are not walking with God, or if you think you are too full of sin to be forgiven, I pray that you will open your heart and let God in. Set your eyes upon the Lord, let Him love on you and wash you clean. Pigpen is a cute cartoon character but he is not something that we should want to look like. God wants us clothed in His love and righteousness; living a healthy life, not one of sin and shame that only comes from the lies of the enemy.
Today I pray: if you are carrying a sin you need to repent of, the burdens of life are overwhelming to you, or if you want to give your life to Jesus, that you would open your heart and ask God to do a mighty work in you. God’s Grace is sufficient enough for each of us, even for Pigpen.