I spent two days this weekend helping a friend who lives in another city stage her home for a moving sale. She’s a single mother of four who is now an empty nester, making a significant move out of state, and starting a new job. She decided it was time for a “clean slate.” After 18 hours of culling, sorting, trashing, stacking, shifting and staging, we were completely spent but sufficiently satisfied that doors could be opened to the public next weekend with hope for a maximum return on our investment.
The job was physically grueling, and the temperature was in the 90s with high humidity. I’m sure I don’t need to expound on the effects this had on skin and hair. As I crawled into my truck to make the two-hour trip home this afternoon, I sent the following text to my husband: “Ok. I’m bringing my nasty self home.”
In the relative quiet of my cab I contemplated how much more complex my friend’s thoughts and feelings must be as she was making the six-hour journey to her new home (temporary housing until the house we’d just staged sells). I thought it might be a little like shedding a skin. Stepping out of one identity and wrapping up in a new one. Would I ever want to do that? Would I have the courage?
As these thoughts were stirring, something else stirred. I heard that still small voice say, “You did, and you do.” I was gently encouraged to reflect and give thanks for the life I now have in Christ. Indeed, many years ago, I did shed the rags of my sin nature and become clothed in something new, bright and pure. Somehow I did have the courage to present “my nasty self” to the King of kings and receive the cleansing of His blood. The beautiful old hymn by Charlotte Elliot (1835) came quite naturally to mind, and I journeyed toward home with worship in my heart.
Just as I am – without one plea, but that Thy blood was shed for me, and that Thou bidst me come to Thee, O Lamb of God, I come!
Just as I am – and waiting not to rid my soul of one dark blot, to Thee, whose blood can cleanse each spot, O Lamb of God, I come!
Just as I am – though toss’d about with many a conflict, many a doubt, fightings and fears, within, without, O Lamb of God, I come!
Just as I am – poor, wretched, blind; sight, riches, healing of the mind, yea, all I need, in Thee to find, O Lamb of God, I come!
Just as I am – Thou wilt receive, wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve; because Thy promise I believe, O Lamb of God, I come!
Just as I am – Thy love unknown has broken every barrier down; now to be Thine, yea, Thine alone, O Lamb of God, I come!
Just as I am – of that free love the breadth, length, depth and height to prove here for a season, then above, O Lamb of God, I come!
Dear friend, if you know Him and love Him reflect on the privilege of coming just as you are. He always receives the honest and contrite heart, no matter how broken. Draw near and be washed anew. Be delighted that it is His joy and delight to welcome you.
Until next week, remember Whose you are and Whom you have believed.
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P.S. When I pulled into the driveway today, my husband met me (as he usually does when I’ve been gone awhile). In spite of my woefully dirty estate, he kissed me.