I recently finished painting my bathroom. I painted the ceiling, trim and the door a very light blue to go with the darker blue walls. The ceiling and the door look very white compared to the walls and the wood cabinet. I don’t really think about it very often. If I had to make a snap judgment I would say that the ceiling and door are white.
But I am reminded that it is really a light blue when I see the as-yet-to-be-scraped drops of paint on the tile or bathtub. Since the tile is a creamy white and the bathtub is white the small drops of paint are revealed as a definite blue.
Sometimes my life seems like the paint. It looks white compared to all else around it. It is only when I get close to Jesus in prayer or reading my bible. When I see his righteousness, his glory, his holiness I am reminded of my sin.
Of course I say to myself that I’m not that bad. I try to do good things, I read my bible and I pray. I go to church. I try to stay active in a small group. I try to do serving things, helping others. And I view my life as being white. Not consciously of course. But subconsciously I don’t always feel the need to ask for forgiveness. It isn’t that I don’t think I am being proud. It isn’t that I don’t think I get all that angry or selfish. It isn’t that I don’t give in to the temptations surrounding me in this world. It is that I don’t think at all.
And then, something will happen. I will read a phrase in a book. I see a verse in my bible. I hear a thought from someone around me. I will hear a song. And at that moment I see. I am not white. Only Jesus and his righteousness are white. I am dirty. I am full of myself and my life and my cares. I do not see the world around me for what it really is. I do not see sin as sin.
And then I cry out in my heart. God, forgive me. Take my sins and make them whiter than snow. Wash me and cleanse me. He smiles at me and his forgiveness flows over me. His grace is never ending. His mercy is sweet. He brings joy to my heart and peace to my soul.
His righteousness is white. Only through his righteousness can I be truly white. And this only comes from my relationship in him. I need to lean completely on him every day, all day. I need God to stay with me. I need him to finish what he begun in me. I cannot do it myself.
I find myself singing with the saints of years past:
I need Thee every hour, most gracious Lord; No tender voice like Thine can peace afford.
I need Thee every hour, stay Thou nearby; Temptations lose their power when Thou art nigh.
I need Thee every hour, in joy or pain; Come quickly and abide, or life is in vain.
I need Thee every hour; teach me Thy will; And Thy rich promises in me fulfill.
I need Thee every hour, most Holy One; O make me Thine indeed, Thou blessed Son.
I need Thee, O I need Thee; Every hour I need Thee; O bless me now, my Savior, I come to Thee.
Romans 8: 29-30 God knew what he was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love him along the same lines as the life of his Son. The Son stands first in the line of humanity he restored. We see the original and intended shape of our lives there in him.
After God made that decision of what his children should be like, he followed it up by calling people by name. After he called them by name, he set them on a solid basis with himself. And then, after getting them established, he stayed with them to the end, gloriously completing what he had begun.
I need thee every hour by Annie S Hawks and Robert Lowry. 1872