I didn't throw it out, but I realized something as we spoke. Even though the bowl could have been used, it would have been a constant reminder every time we used it of the time we stored spaghetti sauce in it. I used some diluted bleach water and off came the stain. Now, we can use it without the memory of the spaghetti sauce that used to be in the bowl every time we use it! Funny how something can seem clean, but still be stained.
My mind couldn't help wandering off into a thought about how sin had stained me in my life. As I thought about it, I kept finding myself singing "Oh, happy day, happy day...when You washed my sin away!" I decided to look up some scriptures on the word stain and found something interesting in Jeremiah 2:22....
Although you wash yourself with lye and use much soap, the stain of your iniquity is still before me," declares the Lord God.
This verse just reminded me of all the failed attempts I made to wash my own sin away in the past. I would say I was sorry, but then do it all over again. I'd do good works, hoping God would look past my bad because of them. I would say all the right things, do all the right things, but my heart was still stained with guilt because I was trying to take care of things in my own power. It was like I was the bowl that would come out of the dishwasher, thinking I was all cleaned up but in reality there was a constant reminder of the stain of my sin in my heart. My self-cleaning cycle didn't really help the situation at all.
I'm so grateful the Lord finally showed me that nothing I could ever do would wash away the stain of my sin, except to repent (repent is not just saying I'm sorry, but saying "I'm through!") and trust Christ to wash my sin away - for good. Since that day, there isn't a stain left in my heart. He's changed me, forgiven me, saved me and given me a fresh start. Only He can do that.
Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Psalm 51:7
Oh, happy day....