I pray for a clean heart, God.
“Drain the swamp,” is a national cry that was directed towards the corrupt politicians in Washington D.C. during our last national election. Both parties seem to be up to a lot of mischief as they freely spend taxpayer money and write laws that go against our consciences. It’s becoming murkier by the day.
But how about our own personal swamp-of-a-heart? Do we need a cleanup?
I thought about this as I strolled around a walking track in our neighborhood. In the middle of the long oval walking path, the development company had dug a drainage pond. It’s not the most scenic but it does attract ducks, frogs and other wildlife. But right now the man-made pond oozes slimy red clay. And that clay stains. Now if you’ve ever had red clay smeared across the bottom of a new pair of white pants, you know the pigment can be permanent. Even the best cleaners in town might not be able to remove it.
And the trash. Wow, who would have guessed the swamp was a graveyard for dozens of water bottles, candy wrappers and beer cans? The water covered up a lot of garbage until a couple of powerful pumps sucked out the water. What a nasty mess.
Our insides are a lot like that pond. If we are honest with ourselves we all have a boggy area in our hearts. Maybe they aren’t full of burglary, adultery or murder. But in God’s eyes we still have peccadillos like gossip, jealousy and anger that we collect and turn into hobbies. Sin is sin and any sin (which means separation from God) alienates us from God’s presence in our lives.
I’ve met anyone on this earth who has avoided sin, large or small. For that reason we need someone to clean up the mess. A savior.
The Gossip needs a savior
The Hothead needs a savior
The Thief needs a savior
The Smug Religious need a savior
The Murderer needs a savior
The Fearful need a savior
The Proud need a savior
The Selfish need a savior
The Materialist needs a savior
I’ve had times in my life when I might have ─ with the exception of murderer ─ qualified for any of the above labels. I’m not perfect. I can still be lazy, fearful (meaning I don’t trust God) or a hothead. I’m certainly not a completed work ready for display, or for others to point and exclaim, “Now there’s a Christian.” I know my weaknesses. But being forgiven takes the pressure off.
Draining the swamp isn’t scary. Actually it’s refreshing. We learn what’s been hiding and that we need a savior, Jesus.
Yes, He’s the original swamp drainer.