The Lord is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
9 He will not always chide,
nor will he keep his anger forever.
10 He does not deal with us according to our sins,
nor repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
Trash Man to the Rescue
Do you have a lot of trash? We do.
A family of six produces a lot of garbage. I am sure our trash man talks about our house around the drinking fountain at his office, and on the cell phone with his wife. He probably dreads his weekly route knowing we are on his list. His best days at work are when the Kraft family forgets it’s trash day. We do our best to keep him happy. Smiles and waves when we see him pulling up the ally. Cookies and sweets during the holidays. One year after Christmas I even left him a tip with a love letter attached in hopes of preventing a really nasty separation.
Going to the Kraft house for any garbage disposal engineer is always a chore, but this past week was even worse. I bought my wife, Missy a new kitchen table for Mother’s Day. The five containers for this table were monstrosities. One massive box housed the tabletop, which seemed big enough to hold an airplane wing. And there were four other large boxes that contained a total of eight chairs' parts. The cardboard for the big box we recycled, but the packing on the inside was thrown in the trash.
A few days ago, I heard a big loud engine, and then I saw his big green truck. I was nervous. Would he take it? Would he leave it? Would he resign? I watched in eager anticipation from the upstairs window – honestly, I didn’t have the courage to exit my home.
Without hesitation, the hero with the orange reflective vest stared at that pile trash like a Colorado mountain to be climbed. He used his truck and his mighty hands, and he took every last bit of that trash. He left nothing behind.
We each carry a lot of trash in our hearts, don’t we? We carry guilt and shame and the embarrassment of committing sins against others and against God. We carry sins with us that we think are just too big and bulky for God to handle. We wonder what I wondered … “Will He take them?” The psalmist wondered this too and pleads with the Lord, “Do not cast me away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me.”
Though we are really bad at keeping our promises, God is not. He takes all of our sins upon himself and takes the trash out! “As far as the East is from the West, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” (Psalm 103:12)
The trash man takes our family’s trash to the dump; our Lord takes our sins to the cross. Our Lord does something that my trusty, trash man doesn’t. He lovingly gives us something in return … His righteousness. He gives all those who believe in Him a shimmering crown of righteousness. (2 Timothy 4:8) Thanks be to God!
Prayer: Heavenly Father we thank you for taking our sins upon yourself and giving us your righteousness. We echo the words of your servant, David in Psalm 51 …
“Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from your presence,
and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and uphold me with a willing spirit.”