The Stuff That Covers Me

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Why is it that so many of my stories take place during the wee hours of the morning?

I swear, this blog is starting to sound like a broken record, and I apologize for that.

Nevertheless…

I found myself (once again) peeling off my dirty clothes, brushing my teeth, and stumbling sleepily through the rest of my bedtime routine — while those ominous red numbers on my nightstand alarm clock ticked closer and closer to 1:00AM.

Now, you can blame it on the late hour, or the lack of sleep, or just my general absent-minded nature. But whatever the case may be, as I stood there at the bathroom sink, rinsing off my toothbrush, my mind started musing on all of the stuff I was covered in.

My HANDS were covered.
It didn’t matter how hard or how long I scrubbed them, my index finger and thumb were still stained a vibrant green from all those peas I’d picked, podded, blanched, packed, and frozen that day (roughly 9 hours of work).

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My PANTS were covered.
Green smears of stinky, smelly “cud-juice” adorned each leg — acquired while trying to manually remove the compacted cud from the mouth of our goat, Syl. Ever since she came down with a case of (possibly) Bell’s Palsy a couple of weeks ago, I’ve been obliged to stick my fingers in her foamy, slobbery mouth 2 or 3 times a day to help dislodge the ever-present wad of cud that accumulates in her paralyzed cheek…

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Heck, even my SHIRT was covered.
Nothing says “I love you, Dad” quite like a fountain of white, coagulated baby barf — spewing from the mouth of a newborn, right?! (By the way, our family of 3 has now become 4…) Sure, it’d been a couple of hours since our little flutter-by had spit up on me, but like a fancy cheese, it had only gotten more fragrant with time.

As I dumped my dirty, crusty clothes in the hamper and then knelt down at the side of my bed to thank the Lord for the blessings of the day, I began to contemplate something else that was covering me:

Grace.

In church, we talk a lot about how Jesus atones for our shortcomings. His grace cleanses our sins.

But did you know that whenever you see the word “atone” in the Old Testament, what you’re really looking at is an English translation of the Hebrew word, kaphar (כָּפַר) — which literally means “to cover”?

So although we most often use fancy words like “Atone” and “Reconcile” and “Propitiate,” we could just as easily describe Christ’s grace as a “Covering”.

Because of His suffering and His righteousness, our sins are covered.

“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”

Isaiah 1:18

I just love that message!

When you’re in the dog days of summer, who wouldn’t want a covering of snow?

When the mercury drops below zero, and you’re slogging through the dead of winter, what is more cozy than a covering of wool?

Isaiah tells us that no matter our circumstances, come hot or cold, the Atonement of Christ (or rather, the “Covering” of Christ) has what we need. Jesus knows how to cover us perfectly.

As I silently said my “Amen” and climbed into bed next to my sleeping sweetheart, I couldn’t help but smile and thank God again for all the stuff that covers me.

I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world!

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