I need a covering. After a string of dismal, rainy days in December, very unusual for my part of the world, the view is depressing. The sky hangs dark and gray. My yard is strewn with the debris of three dogs, two of them still puppies. Deer hides and bones dragged in from the fields after hunting season, leftover corncobs from harvest, and bits of plastic and tin cans salvaged from my recycling bins litter the backyard’s open spaces. The holes the dogs dug have become mud pots for rolling in before wanting in the house.
This bitter, ugly landscape mortifies me every time I look out my windows. The scene carries reminders of the past, embarrassment over the current state of things, and shame at my inability to bring lasting improvement to the situation. Oh, how I long for it all to disappear.
I need a covering. A good blanket of pure, white snow would do the trick. It would wipe the ugly from view and make it a distant memory. The forgiving layers of clean ice crystals would wipe away the stark evidence of the past and dying season.
It’s not just my view of the backyard that needs help, though. It’s my view of my heart. I am constantly mortified by what I see if I dare to look closely. Too often, I barely give it a cursory glance, like the way I avoid looking out the window this week because I know what I’ll find. I’m much less likely to see the extent of my need.
I need a covering, a covering for my sin. One that blots out its memory and offers forgiving relief from the painful reminders and evidences of the destruction I leave in my wake. One that hides the raw and bitter ugliness that makes itself visible too often. I need a covering that remains until newness of life springs eternal.
God has given just that–a covering for my sin. In the birth of his son as a little baby He offered forgiveness and healing. His son, Jesus, would ultimately take my punishment, give me His life, and cover me in the pure white of His perfection. I fail, too often, to remember that I am already purified. “Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD; though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow…” (Isaiah 1:18). This covering is not whimsical like weather. It remains and brings the relief I long for.
I have a covering! My heart is clothed in Jesus’ righteousness and my yard is blanketed in pure white, for the snow has begun to fall.
“In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation [atoning sacrifice, covering] for our sins.” 1 John 4:9-10
“He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” 1 John 2:2
“Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.” Psalm 32:1