Originally published Monday, 22 July 2013.
I saw him digging in the dirt and thought that his hands were instinctively finding more yard-work to tackle. It wasn't until the rocks began to pile in the back of Joshua's metal dump-truck that I realized what Ron was working on.
He was clearing the dirt of the unyielding hard surfaces of rocks; making room for roots to run deep.
The next day I was adding space to breathe in our outside storage closet. I walked around the corner to assist the children with their play, when I noticed the new edging that Ron had carefully constructed in first one corner and then along the bend of another. The rocks that, had they laid buried, could have prevented growth within our flower beds, now lay as a shining washed border to mark the boundaries of the beds.
The rocks that lay in the dark were washed and exposed to the light. They were given a new purpose as a boundary with distinction.
What if we view those rocks as our hidden, or deeply buried, sin? Are we presently digging them up or pushing them further down into the layers of dirt? Are we covering them with the fertilizer and mulch of excuses, blame, denial, or avoidance?
When we unearth the rocks of sin through confession and repentance Jesus washes us clean. He will use the past experiences to lay boundaries in our present paths. Experiences of unwise, unhealthy, and flagrantly wrong choices are a painful teacher. However, after we identify the rocks, sin, for what they really are, He can use them to lay boundaries or guard rails in our lives so that we need not experience the dark, lonely confines of a life buried in the consequences of sinful choices again. Rather we can soak in the Son and glisten with newness of life as we walk in a new way of life.
The rocks that were a suppressed reminder of our sinful demise, are re-purposed into a protective border of choices for today and guidance to those who happen to walk our path.
One day a stone was rolled away that all who believe on Christ Jesus may have new life in Him. (John 20) The same Jesus who rolled away the stone, and rose from the dead, wants to take the rocks from your soul-laced soil and breathe new life into the dead places too long buried.
Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable. So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. (Hebrews 4:13-16, NLT)