When my kids were younger there was an occasion where we decided to have the car professionally cleaned and detailed. If you have young kids you understand the buildup of mess that can accumulate, particularly in the back seat and the ominous crevices and cracks between seats.
The strange thing about this experience was that prior to dropping the car off at the garage, I took the time to clean the car, pick up the garbage, wipe things down, try to make sure the car looked clean before taking it to be...cleaned.
This can sometimes be the attitude we have when it comes to the thought of going to church. I have invited friends to church on occasion who have responded with jokes about lightning striking them if they walked through the door.
We can have an understanding deep within our soul that something needs to change. Perhaps it’s a deep pain or hurt that we have had for a long time that has caused us to hurt others or ourselves.
From the depths of our heart we want nothing more than for this pain to be healed. We hear about Jesus, perhaps from a co-worker, friend, family member or memories of childhood Sunday School.
We may even hear about Jesus love for us and His desire to heal the broken places in our lives.
But...before we go to Jesus, we want to get ourselves clean first. Whether it’s from judgmental
church-goers we have met in the past or the depth of shame we feel for the wrongs in our life, we
keep away from the One who can clean our mess until the mess is actually clean.
One of the most famous Bible verses is John 3:16; “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” Maybe you have heard that verse before, but it’s important to see the next verse that goes along with it (verse 17); “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him.
Jesus didn’t come to condemn you. He sees your hurt, He knows your mess, and He wants to bring healing into the deep places of your heart. The deep secret about us Church folks is that we are just as messed up as everyone else. We have walked in pain and shame. We have hurt others and ourselves and made a mess. But then Jesus cleaned it up. He brought healing to the pain.
You don’t need to clean the car before you take it to be cleaned. The crazy thing was how much
cleaner the professionals got my car than I could get it. They had the tools, the know-how and the patience to make it look like new. When they clean the car, it is truly clean.
The Bible says that when sets us free, we will be free indeed. I want to encourage you to walk into one of the churches in our area this Sunday. Jesus loves you and wants to heal you from your pain and shame. Come as you are, you will be loved.