A few years ago, I decided to take up knitting. I had tried it a couple of times before and had disliked it. But I also hated being mastered by anything, and decided to try again.
It gave me a great feeling of accomplishment as I handed the finished project of a beautiful sweater to my eldest daughter. Then, feeling much more confident, I knit the same pattern over for my next daughter in another colour.
Two sweaters under my belt! I was no longer a novice. Into the wool shop I went and bought a much more difficult pattern. The first time I chose a pattern, I had asked for help. This time I did it on my own.
Hours later, I knew that I was in way over my head. I asked advice from a neighbor, an expert knitter. I kept on. Stuck again, I sought more advice. I ripped out and re-knit enough times to knit a few other sweaters. At last the masterpiece was finished. When my youngest daughter put it on, I almost strutted.
She told everyone that her Mom had made her sweater. It was difficult to get it off her to wash. The second time I went to wash it, I was horrified. Right on the front of this beautiful, pastel sweater was a large, horrible, red spot. It would not come off. My youngest told me that it was red paint from a pottery painting set.
My work was destroyed. For weeks, the sweater just sat in the laundry room. I did not have the heart to throw it out.
The Bible tells us that we are made in the image of God. How sad God must be when He sees His handiwork marred by sin. God expects to see His own reflection but so often, He sees big globs of ugliness.
Thank God the story does not end there. The Bible says, “The blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin” (I John 1:17).
We need to apply the blood of Jesus to our lives. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (I John 1:9).
One day my daughter was visiting in a friend’s home. While there, she heard them speak of a cure-all substance for paint stains. She asked if she could take some home to her mother to try on her ruined sweater.
The request was granted and I was under pressure to try this substance out on the sweater.
I could have chosen to leave the paint remover where it was saying that such a thing was impossible. Perhaps I could have put things off until another day. But, at the insistence of my daughter, we quickly tried it out. It worked. The sweater was as good as new.
We sometimes treat the Lord like that paint remover. We are skeptical. Or, we put Him on a shelf, planning to try Him out in the future. But, those who take the time, find that He does remove the sin and frees us to be God’s handiwork again.
The song writer, John Peterson, put it so aptly:
In the image of God, we were made long ago
With the purpose divine, here His glory to show;
But we failed Him one day and like sheep went astray
Thinking not of the cost, we, His likeness, had lost.
But from eternity, God had in mind
The work of Calvary – the lost to find.
From His heaven so broad, Christ came down earth to trod
So that men might live again in the image of God.
Rev. Lorna Casselman