I sent a text to someone just now and used my Emoji app to picture three cups of steaming coffee. When I did that a thought crossed my mind, “Best cup of coffee ever?” It was a morning I used my tiny travel pot to make a cup of coffee for myself in the beautiful Dolphin hotel on the Disney complex. That cup of coffee has stood out in my mind as the Blue Ribbon cup of all times, not even sure why it does. Our mind just works that way I guess, we remember the best and more often than that we remember the worst. Makes me think of one of the most famous quotes from literature of all time, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” (A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens). So now that we are thinking on best and worst, what would it be for you?
OK, since I have the floor I’ll go first… so many bad times where do I even begin? There was the time I had on my beautiful white, ruffled dress, and never had an eight year old felt more beautiful than I did in that dress. I begged my mother to let me wear it one day as I was going for a walk on the North Carolina Camp Ground with my aunt. I just knew I was going to look so grown up someone might even think I was ten! The day was hot and sticky and as we got to the concession stand area my aunt suggested that we have an orange snow cone, I was certainly up for that! I took the bright orange snow cone in my hands and suddenly my world as it was, my happy day, my glorious coming out, came to a crashing halt as the syrup from the over-filled cone spilled onto the front of my gleaming white, eyelet dress… I watched in slow motion as I saw orange droplets land one by one changing each little eyelet it touched to bright orange polka dots! The terror that gripped my heart at having to go back into that little cabin and stand as my mother’s sharp blue eyes saw the damage, knowing I had worn it against her will made my hands go cold! Guess I felt like the sinner that approaches the Throne of Grace wearing white garments which have been soiled by committed sins.
The Bible says in Hebrews 4:16 “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” I think it would have been easier for me to approach God at His throne than to face my mother in my soiled dress. My feet were heavy as I walked up that walk to go in and miracle of miracles my mother was not in there! I turned around and asked my grandmother to unzip my dress and I took it off as quickly as if it had suddenly caught fire, wadded it up and put it in the bottom of the place mother was putting our dirty clothes. If I had only known then about the story of Achan’s sin written about in the book of Joshua, 7th chapter, I would have known that the saying from Numbers 32:23 “and be sure your sin will find you out” was really the truth!
Yes, getting found out about that was almost as bad as the time, when I was in the 7th grade, that I hid my report card with the shameful Math grade until after the Christmas holidays and our trip to California! You do get found out, all you have done is to delay the punishment!
Now would be a good time to sing a chorus of “Just as I am, without one plea, but that Thy blood was shed for me, and that Thou bidst me come to Thee, oh Lamb of God I come, I come.” Let me insert for those of you who have never sung the old hymn that “bidst” does mean, “ask me to come” or something close to that. OK having sung that hymn and maybe a chorus of “Come home, come home, Jesus is calling, calling “Oh sinner, come home,” it would be time for the penitent sinner to go to the altar to ask for mercy in her time of need. I did put off the penitent walk to the altar as long as I could and when the punishment came it was terrible! I had to wear my old “little girl” dress to church that night… I will never forget, it was red plaid and I really hated that dress.
What’s the point? Whether you need to ask someone you have wronged to forgive you and say the hardest three words that will ever come out of your mouth, “I am sorry”, or go to the Throne of Grace to ask for mercy and help in your time of need, it is easier if you pull up your big kid britches and just do it! God will forgive you without making you wear that red plaid dress; He puts your sins behind His back and never looks at them again!
There, feel better now? It’s your turn, what is your worst moment? Before you answer that let me say that the next time I saw my beautiful white dress it was being worn by a girl standing on the front row at church, yes my dress, free from stains, being worn by Angel Lord (really her name, honest!). I’m trying to be a good girl so that God will allow no one else to ever wear my white robe in heaven but me!