It was 5:20 A.M. I was pulling out the coffeepot to pour my first cup when things went tragically awry. (I use the word tragically very loosely here.)
Instead of only pulling out the coffeepot, I also snagged the container that holds the grounds. Grounds splattered everywhere, and coffee continued to pour out because the piece that operates the pause-and-serve feature was now on the floor.
Cleanup took about 30 minutes. I needed to deal with the counter, the wet lunch bags that had been ready to go to school, the inside and outside of the drawers and cabinets, the baseboard, the floor . . . and my robe. It didn’t help that grounds stuck to the bottoms of my feet; and whenever I walked, I made the mess bigger. I’ll be finding grounds for weeks because coffee grounds are insidious.
So is your sin.
The intentional hurt you cause, the flippant words or arrogant attitude, the times you flew off the handle, the day you did not help someone’s reputation or loved hearing bad news about someone you don’t like, the negativity you let fester, the addictions—to shopping, pornography, gossip, alcohol.
These all create a mess (whether big or small) that spreads into your relationships with your family, friends, coworkers. The worst part though is that these create a mess in your relationship with God. He says, “Be perfect,” but you can’t be.
While you can work to clean up the messes you cause in your relationships here on earth, there’s no way you can clean up the mess with God. The good news is that Jesus looked at the hot mess of your relationship with God and said, “I’ll clean that up for you.”
He left heaven, took on a human form, lived without committing a single sin, then took God’s punishment for your messes by dying on a cross. When he said, “It is finished” while he was hanging on a cross, he let you know that the cleanup is complete. He would rise on Sunday morning (we call that Easter) and seal the deal.
Peter was one of Jesus’ closest friends, yet his big mouth meant he was also prone to making messes. (Such as using curse words to deny he even knew Jesus at the time that Jesus was being tried and tortured.) Knowing that that sin and all his sins were forgiven, he spent the rest of his life using his big mouth to share the good news that “Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God” (1 Peter 3:18).
This is called grace. Grace is insidious too. You’ll find it in all parts of your life. You can walk around with no eternal guilt clinging to you, no fear that God will abandon you, no burden of wondering how you’ll restore your relationship. Because it’s finished. The mess is all cleaned up.
Linda Buxa is a writer and editor whose husband made the coffee the morning after The Great Coffee Spill of Spring 2021.