Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. (Isaiah 1:18)
Picture a pencil with the eraser attached on the end . . . perhaps the #2 pencil you had to bring to school for all those “Fill in the dot” tests. Do you have it in your mind? Now picture this: you are the pencil; Jesus is the Eraser; and God is the Hand that holds and writes.
A pencil can do nothing on its own. Someone must take it in hand and begin to write with it, and that is exactly what God has been doing in your life. As David wrote, “All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be” (Psalm 139:16).
But even though you and are held firmly in the hand of God, there are times when you and I have a tendency to want to write some of our story ourselves. When we do that, mistakes happen along the way—lots of them! We will say some things we wish we had not said. We will do some things we wish we had not done. We will think some things we wish we had not thought. And every time this happens, Jesus, our Eternal Eraser, is right there to erase the mess we’ve made as if it had never happened.
Let me be clear; I am not saying that there will be no consequences for our sin. Far from it! Hebrews 12:7-11 tells us very plainly that our Father disciplines us, just as a human father will discipline his child. What I am saying is that our Eternal Eraser removes the stain of our sin in the sight of God; when our Father looks upon us, he sees no dark, ugly blot of sin, but only the pure and perfect righteousness of Christ. Thanks to the sacrifice of God the Son, God the Father assures His people, “I have blotted out your transgressions like a cloud and your sins like mist” (Isaiah 44:22 ESV). Though our sins be as scarlet, we are white as snow in the sight of God.
Here are a few things to remember as you go through the unfolding story of your life. The part of you that will leave your mark on this world for the glory of the One who holds you in His hand—that part is on the inside of you. Every time God writes with you, more of who He is making you to be on the inside will come out. And, from time to time, the hand that writes with you will need to sharpen you. That sharpening doesn’t come through times of success, contentment, and joy; no, it comes through difficulties, obstacles, and challenges. These times are painful, but you will be a much more useful pencil because of God’s sharpening.
One final point: each time you are sharpened, something truly lovely happens. You shrink a little and become a little smaller. And that is a good thing! Because as you decrease, those around you who are watching your story being written will see more and more of the Hand that is holding you and less and less of you. You will begin to resemble John the Baptist, who said, “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30).
So . . . how is your life story going? Who is doing the writing—you or God? Remember, the more God writes, the better your story becomes. But also remember that in those moments when you try to do a little writing on your own and mess things up, Jesus, your Eternal Eraser, is right there with you, erasing your mess so that the Father will continually hold you in His hand and look upon you with love.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!