Daily Devotional - 30 July 2020
“ For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross” (Colossians 1:19-20).
A week ago, a few of us met at the church building to do some much needed clean-up work. In the process of cleaning out the furnace room, a white growth on the floor came to my attention. It looked like a combination of snow and ice, but given that the temperature in the basement far exceeded freezing, I knew it had to be something else. After consulting with others, we determined that it must be a type of white mold growing around what was evidently a wet spot in the basement. As bleach ‘kills everything’ it was decided to hit the spot with a good dose of diluted bleach. Done! Three days later, our error in diagnosis became apparent.
When I went downstairs to check on it, I discovered that a whole new healthy case of the snow-ice-like growth had returned and was in fact larger than what had been cleared away three short days earlier. So like most people faced with an unknown dilemma, I went to a commonly used source...I googled it. Turns out it wasn’t mold at all, but rather a substance known as efflorescence. Efflorescence and white mold growth can look very similar. It occurs when moisture leaches through concrete and pulls minerals along with the water. So how do you tell efflorescence and white mold apart? Pour some water on it. If it melts away it’s efflorescence; if it doesn’t it’s mold. One of the suggested remedies was vinegar. So I proceeded to next treat it with the correct remedy. After another three days, the growth has not entirely stopped, but has been significantly decreased. What made the difference? The correct diagnosis!
Reading the news this week, I have been reminded of just how very ‘sick’ this world is and of some of the ‘remedies’ being tried to correct the problems. An Afghanistan woman beaten for having a prescription made out in her name; a Samoan chief sentenced to ten years in prison for his conviction of slavery; a state suing the federal government in the USA; Chinese and American consulates shut due to accusations of spying; Russian online interference charged by the UK and denied. I could go on. Each story identifies a problem and many corrective measures are proffered. But I can’t help but wonder if all our human effort provides little more than a bandage–a solution that will prove entirely ineffective for dealing with our global problems. Ultimately, we are experiencing the consequences of humanity’s poor choices; but the misuse of our freewill is only the presenting problem. The most accurate diagnosis for our problem is sin–our continued disobedience to the will of God. The only remedy that can result in a ‘cure’ is a belief in the work of redemption done by Jesus on the cross.
That is not to say that we don’t work to correct the presenting problems. There is still work to be done to clean away the ongoing build-up as sin leaches through every pore of what was once God’s very good Creation. However, only the correct remedy will provide any real relief. We need God to help us clean up this mess! And in case we are quick to point fingers, remember that the first mess that needs cleaning up is our own. May we not be satisfied with simply scraping away the residual effects of sin in our lives so that we ‘look’ okay...let’s submit to the work that God can do in our lives to transform us, so that we become real change makers!
~ Pastor Jane
First licensed for pastoral ministry in 1994, Pastor Jane Peck has served in camp and church ministries in three denominations, five provinces and in a variety of roles. Her most recent position is that of Pastor at Hope Chapel which she began in 2020. She is excited to see what God can and will do in the days to come!