The Mysterious Illness. Radical Grace from the Book of Romans (6:14-15)

pen making a hole in my fanny pack 

"For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace. What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means!" (Rom 6:14-15, NIV2)

When I arrived in Edinburgh, Scotland, I discovered that I was inflicted by a mysterious illness. Black spots had appeared on my fingers, and they soon spread to other parts of my hands. Water was a partial solution to this affliction, temporarily causing the spots to disappear, but they would always reappear moments later.

At one time this illness was so bad that I even scrubbed my hands in the wet grass. Yes, it does rain almost constantly in Scotland! It sure felt good to see these spots disappear, but again, it was only temporary.

I checked everything for the source of this affliction, without any success. Hopefully I wouldn't turn into a gigantic black Smurf!

As I was writing my experience about this disease, my pen ran out of ink. Strange! Still I saw no signs of it being drained anywhere.

After vigorous investigation, I finally discovered the culprit. Whenever I am on holiday, I wear a leather fanny pack around my waist, where I keep my wide-angle lens. I also left my pen in there, and the lens, being extra-heavy, put pressure on the pen until it succeeded in pushing the top of the pen through the leather pouch. As the pen was then rubbing against my jeans, the ink gradually ran out--right into the left pocket of my jeans. Thus, whenever I reached for my phone or my wallet, part of my hand came into contact with this dark liquid, leaving black spots all over my hands.

By the time I discovered this, my left pocket had its own black spots as well. It really wasn't a good match! Something had to be done. Jeans were not created to be leopards. I would either have to throw them away, or I would need to find a way to remove these spots!

In the end, a good old-fashioned laundry wash was all they needed. They are now as good as new.

The same is true when we fall into sin. We find ourselves far from God's will. Spots appear all over our souls, and these don't disappear with water! We were not created to be spotted in this way, but once these spots appear, they stay. Only one remedy can eliminate those: a good washing of repentance, where our Heavenly Father will remove these at the cost of His own son: "For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us." (Ps 103:11-12, NIV2)

What are those spots on your hands?

Rob Chaffart

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