Wednesday, December 15, 2021

My Muddy Heart - Emily Marszalek

But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness
. Psalms 86:15 NIV

My two dogs love to dig in the backyard.

In spite of dedicated attempts to deter the behavior and gentle scolding when I’ve caught them in the act, the habit persists.

One rainy day, they both entered the house with mud-caked faces, chests, legs, and paws. I attempted to clean them before they maneuvered throughout the house, but hundreds of muddy paw prints soon covered the kitchen and living room floors, requiring a thorough mopping. I was furious.

Losing my temper, I screamed while scrubbing the floors for the third time that week. “Can’t you two just obey for once? How many times do I have to tell you not to dig!?” Continuing to grumble while I scrubbed the muddy floors, God convicted me. I had not only lost my temper but also harbored an attitude of impatience, bitterness, and resentment.

I remembered how often I had been muddy myself. Like my sweet pups, I repeat the same mistakes. Yet, regardless of how many times I sin and muddy my heart, God never turns me away when I turn to Him in repentance. He always accepts me back and forgives me, washing away my sin so I can live clean. As the psalmist says, He is “merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.” God’s grace meets me in my muck and washes me clean.

Although I often fail to extend God’s grace and patience to others, I trust His good work in me that continually shapes me to be more like Him.

Repenting of my anger and impatience that rainy afternoon as I continued to scrub my soiled floors, God’s grace cleansed my muddied heart. As I cuddled up with my now clean pups and enjoyed my clean floors and clean heart, I thanked God once again for His patience and grace.

Does your heart feel muddied? Come to God with a repentant heart and invite the deep cleansing only His grace can provide.

Tweetable: How do you clean up your muddy messes? 

Emily Marszalek enjoys the simple pleasures in life with her two Goldendoodles—Charlie and Lucy—and her fiancé Nick in the Pacific Northwest. Her writing has appeared in publications including Angels on Earth, Chicken Soup for the Soul: Listen to your Dreams, Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Blessings of Christmas, The Lutheran Digest, Refresh Bible Study Magazine, Christian Broadcasting Network, and Daily Inspired Life.

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