Count yourself lucky, how happy you must be – you get a fresh start, your slate’s wiped clean.
— Psalm 32:1 (MSG)
Create in Me a Clean Slate
Vacations always seem to be a time I hear from God. Maybe it’s because my pace slows down, my mind quiets and I take more time to tune into the many ways my Creator reveals Himself to me. On a recent vacation, my nephew and I took a walk down to the beach. It was relatively quiet as most beachgoers had long since gathered their belongings and made their way home. As many kids do at the beach, Ryan started building a castle with a moat and spires, towers and walls. He took such great care with it and spent so much time on all the details, decorating it with big shells and tiny shells, twigs and seaweed. He crafted such an elaborate structure – it was quite impressive. As I looked down the beach I could see dotted across the shoreline, several other structures that remained from a busy day of play at the beach.
The next morning, as I walked the beach, I noticed the shoreline smooth as silk with no visible remnants of the castles that peppered its horizon just a few hours before. It was a blank canvas – an untouched fabric on which new “builders” could sculpt their structures on this new day. During the night, as the tides had washed through, the waves had carried the walls of the castles and structures out to sea with them. The rolling waters had pulled sand into the crevices and moats leaving a smooth, even surface in their place. I looked at that smooth, clean slate full of possibility and wonder. No baggage to be removed, no tearing down or correcting needed. Just a smooth surface awaiting a new day.
I got to thinking of how much I wish I could have a clean slate. How I wished I could erase all traces of the messes I had created in my life and wash away the disappointments and destruction that littered the broken road to my present. Almost immediately God spoke to my spirit, reminding me that He, in fact, specializes in fresh starts. As our verse so clearly states above, we do get a clean slate to work from the moment we invite Jesus to reside in our hearts and every day thereafter. You see, even when we can’t seem to let go of or forget our past failures, God does. That accusing voice we hear isn’t our Savior’s. That guilt and condemnation we feel doesn’t come from our God. It’s the voice of our accuser who will stop at nothing to make us feel unworthy of the grace and love God so freely and extravagantly extends.
Lamentations 3:21-24 (MSG) tells us this, “It’s a Good Thing to Hope for Help from God. I’ll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness, the taste of ashes, the poison I’ve swallowed. I remember it all – oh, how well I remember – the feeling of hitting the bottom. But there’s one other thing I remember, and remembering, I keep a grip on hope: God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out, his merciful love couldn’t have dried up. They’re created new every morning. How great your faithfulness! I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over). He’s all I’ve got left.”
These verse speak to my heart in such a powerful way. When it talks about hitting bottom I am immediately reminded of some of my “rock bottom” moments. Moments I would like to wipe off my slate forever. You see before I had a relationship with Jesus I had a relationship with drugs – one that almost killed me more than once. To say I had hit rock bottom was an understatement for sure. When I came to Christ, Satan loved to bring those memories to mind and conjure up feelings of embarrassment and shame. And so I rarely shared with anyone these dark details of my past. You see the devil loves to keep things hidden, while God brings things into the light and washes them away.
Then one day I was in my office at work and a coworker came in on her day off, sitting next to me in our office. I asked her if everything was okay and she said she was “going through some stuff” but that I wouldn’t understand because I had my life so together. It was at that moment God convicted me that if I never shared where He had brought me from I was robbing Him of His full glory. You see God can’t erase what we keep holding on to and hiding. But if we bring it to Him, His grace and mercy will clean our slate not just of the sin but of the guilt and shame that go with it. And when we tell of how God changed us and where He brought us from, He gets the glory He is due. If you are struggling today with a slate that you can never seem to get fully cleared I encourage you to bring every burden to the foot of the cross and leave it there in the very capable hands of our Redeemer who paid a dear price to wipe our slates spotlessly clean.
Heavenly Father, we don’t have adequate words to express the gratitude we have for the sacrifice You made so that we could have a clean slate. Help us to release all of our burdens to You – all of our sin, shame, guilt and embarrassment. Empty us of all that interferes with our relationship with You and allow us to be filled with a deeper more intimate connection to You. Help us to have a heightened sense of Your boundless love, unending grace and mercies which are new every morning. In Jesus’ name we ask this, Amen.
Walking the Walk Ministries LLC · 2022