Crimson and Coal

I was driving my car when my tooth shattered. It wouldn’t have been so bad if it wasn’t one of my front teeth, and the fact that it was the whole tooth that broke all the way down to the root.  Immediate deep inadequacy and insecurity set in.  The kind of insecurity that gives you that icky gut feeling of dread. What will people think of me?  And then I woke up from my dream, and realized that all of my teeth were still in tact.  Phew.

Then I said, “It’s all over! I am doomed, for I am a sinful man. I have filthy lips, and I live among a people with filthy lips. Yet I have seen the King, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.”
Isaiah 6:5

Have you ever stood next to someone who had better hair than you, better skin than you, was seemingly perfect and all of your imperfections seemed to be more noticeable? It can be intimidating, and you can quickly feel inadequate and insecure. As I have shared before, I am someone who deals with insecurities. Oftentimes, though, it is not just a seemingly perfect person that makes me feel insecure.  It is my sin. Even as I write this, my sins are weighing on me. What would people think of me? Oh how my sin can make me feel like I am drowning, and as someone who has experienced glimpses of the glory and sovereignty of God, I see who I really am. Dirty. Uncomfortable. A person of unclean lips.

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Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal he had taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. He touched my lips with it and said, “See, this coal has touched your lips. Now your guilt is removed, and your sins are forgiven.”
Isaiah 6:6-7

A few weeks ago my friend hosted a Beautycounter party. During the party the beautiful host asked us all if we wanted to try a charcoal mask. I had been amazed recently to learn about how doctors will use a form of activated coal to rid a persons body of certain deadly toxins in emergency situations, so I was pretty excited to try this coal mask. As we washed the mask off, we were all amazed at how clean our faces were. All of our pores were completely cleared, and I can’t tell you how good it felt! It was like all of the toxins in my skin were gone. It was clean and refreshing.

So the angel said to the others standing there, “Take off his filthy clothes.” And turning to Joshua he said, “See, I have taken away your sins, and now I am giving you these fine new clothes.”

When you get a glimpse of the glory and sovereignty of God, you see who you really are. A person of unclean lips. But when you get a glimpse of the glory and sovereignty of God, through His crimson blood, His grace, mercy, and love you see who you really are. Just like the coal removes impurities and toxins, He covers us so all of our sin, insecurities, inadequacies, and guilt can be removed. It feel refreshing. It is freeing. Spotless. Clean. Beautiful.

Just this week (okay seriously like everyday, but this week in particular), I was confronted with feelings of guilt, inadequacy, and sin. When I feel like this I have two options. I can hide, which ends up in the feelings growing like weeds, or I can stand in awe of Him before His throne and say:

You are holy, and I am a woman with unclean lips.  I see who I really am. Like coal takes away impurities and toxins, let your crimson blood wash over me and make me clean. I don’t want to carry the weight of my sin. Forgive me. I want to walk in your love, grace, and mercy. Make me new.  I want to be confident in You alone. Be my strength. Be my security. Be my King.

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