While coming home from church recently, I drove through a swarm of insects so thick I knew there wasn’t enough windshield solution to clean it off although I knew the reservoir was nearly full. It would’ve just made a smeary mess. Shortly thereafter, I was getting gas and decided to clean the windshield so my wife could see to drive. (I wanted to surprise her because it’s not something I normally do since there’s usually a spot clear enough for me to see through to drive. Also, I have little faith in gas station windshield solutions for getting tougher bug spots off, not to mention that they occasionally leave a greasy coating that clouds up when it rains).
Anyway, as I was scrubbing the windshield, I realized I must’ve run through something much like the plagues of gnats, flies, and locusts that descended upon Egypt (Exodus 8:16-24; 10:1-15). Then I remembered a friend and former coworker’s often used saying, “Sometimes you’re the bug, and sometimes you’re the windshield,” to which I added, “And sometimes you’re the guy stuck with cleaning off the bugs.” (In an age of self-cleaning ovens, why can’t we have self-cleaning windshields? Better yet, in an age of Teflon-coated skillets, why can’t we have windshields that bugs won’t stick to at all?)
Our Christian life is often like the bug-windshield interface. All kinds of things happen to us as Christians (even on our way to or from church), although some people think we’re protected by a Teflon coating from God (James 1:2; John 16:33; Job 1:9-10). Quite often things happen simply because of natural law. Other times it’s because we sin; but, sometimes it’s because we’ve been sinned against (e.g., a drunk driver hits another car and injures or kills someone). Oftentimes, we’re not even closely involved, but as a member of the human race the sins of others affect us (e.g., when taxes are used to build prisons and feed those incarcerated for drunken driving).
To survive, we must look through the smeary haze, whether caused by sin or by natural forces, and focus on Jesus (Hebrews 12:1-3). He made it through the smear of this world to pave a way for us to survive it (Hebrews 4:14-16). There’s no shield, like Teflon, to keep us from being smeared by sin, but Jesus’ blood is a cleaning solution that’s powerful enough to remove even the toughest bugs off our windshield, or, rather, the smear of our worst sin, as if there was a difference to God in sin (Hebrews 9:14; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; James 2:8-11; Isaiah 1:18-20; Revelation 7:14; 22:14). Did you read those verses from Revelation? (I hope you read all passages cited.) While God does the work of cleansing us from sin, relying on his mercy doesn’t absolve us from doing what he says to do to receive cleansing and stay cleansed (Ephesians 5:25-27; Titus 3:3-7; Colossians 2:11-12; Acts 2:38-39; 22:16; 1 John 1:5-9; Luke 6:46-49).
“Have you been to Jesus for the cleansing power?”
Leonard Lauriault is a member of the Church of Christ in Logan. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org