Megan Evans, Women’s Ministry Director LHBC

 Psalm 103:12
“He has removed our sins as far from us
    as the east is from the west.”

 If you forget to take out the trash, your nose will certainly remind you! After recently returning home from a week of vacation, I was greeted by the smell of our kitchen trash can. Phew! Too tired to deal with it that afternoon, I moved the smelly trash bag into the garage.  

 The next morning on my way out of the garage, a sticky trail of liquid from the kitchen bag reminded me of the task I had put off the day before.  I couldn’t avoid it any longer, it was time to dump the junk! I double bagged the leaky trash and set it in a laundry basket for good measure. I quickly sorted our recycling that had accumulated and decided to check the outdoor trash can as well.  As I lifted the lid, fruit flies immediately swarmed. Sure enough, we had left a bag of trash in there as well. Holding my breath from the smell and the hope that nothing would leak on the way over, I loaded 3 heavy bags of trash and 4 boxes of recycling it into the back of my car and drove to the nearest recycling center, but the site was empty.  Posted on the locked gate was a sign stating the center was not open on Tuesdays, Thursdays, or holidays. It was a Tuesday. I drove all my stinky trash back home, shook out a few more fruit flies, and piled it back into the garage. I would have to wait and try again tomorrow.  

 It occurred to me that sometimes I carry around junk in my heart that needs to go to the dump.  And, it gets smellier each day that I put off dealing with it. Yet, what blessed assurance we have that when we come to God with our junk and our sin, He never turns us away.  We don’t have to wait for a certain day of the week to talk to God. He is present 24/7. There is no load we can bring to Jesus that is too big or too smelly to be forgiven. 

 In fact, Psalm 103 tells us that God removes our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.  Let that soak in a minute. God has never, and will never send you back home with your bags of junk.  He promises to purify and wash us clean with His love, forgiveness and grace. We are washed white as snow (Psalm 51:7). God forgives us and then chooses to remember our sin no more (Hebrews 8:12).  

 What about you?  Do you find yourself hauling around bags in your heart today? Maybe you are carrying guilt of past sins, today’s burdens, or tomorrow’s worries.  How light it feels to finally dump the junk. Will you take them to Jesus today? 

Dear Lord, You see the corners of my heart.  You know the bags of junk I am tempted to carry around with me.  Whether I have carried sin and hurt for years or only for moments, remind me what I need to bring to you today.  Thank you for Your promise of forgiveness and for your abundant grace and love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.    

Romans 1:16
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.