Tar Trouble and Sticky Sin

My silly Isaiah is quite a trip.  Every day he makes me laugh with his little “musings” and some days I take the time to write them down.  Some days I even share them on Facebook.

One evening last week I put a handful of Isaiah’s quotes from that particular day on my Facebook status.  These were his quotes from one day with my boy…

“Mikayla’s my friend. I changed my mind. I want to give her flowers because she got hurt today.”

“Mom, you’re so funny when you do those funny things!”

“Mom, I want to hold some tar that’s not hot and that won’t get stuck on my hands. Can you get some for me?”

“Mom, if you’re good when you take me to the doctor’s tomorrow, I’ll take you to the zoo.”

“Toby is so crazy, huh? I cry some times because our other baby is in Heaven.”

“Mommy, if I didn’t have a neck, how would I look up?!”

Well, the tar quote caught the eye of a friend of ours who works for PennDot and wanted to bless our curious little boy.  So, our sweet friend took time during is break to drive to our house and deliver Isaiah his very own ball of tar to hold.

Needless to say, Isaiah was thrilled.

Another detail I should give you about our quirky little man, is that he loves to pick random things to sleep with.  His requests used to be simple things like a stuffed animal or a new toy.  Over time, however, it often has morphed into wanting to sleep with anything that was special to him that day…like a feather, an envelope, a ruler, his Daddy’s watch, or an unopened box of soap.

You can probably guess what he wanted to sleep with last week.

Yep, his ball of tar.  Because he tar was securely in a zip-lock bag, we happily obliged.  And Isaiah went to sleep.

The next morning, Isaiah didn’t come out of his room at his normal 7 am.  A few minutes later, Isaiah’s door came slightly open, and all we could hear were faint little grunts.  My husband came around the corner to find our 4 year old unsuccessfully trying to get out…because he was stuck to his bed.

Literally.

Apparently at some point during the night, Isaiah had taken his tar out of the bag…and then fell asleep…and then rolled right on top of it.  Because the tar gets more sticky and pliable when it’s warmed to a certain temperature (apparently close to 98 degrees), it had smooshed between his pajama shirt and his bed sheet…and had stuck like glue.

Adam finally pulled the shirt and sheet apart…and we were left with blobs of tar on each.  Because it made for a good story (and because I needed advice on laundering clothes with tar on them), I once again shared on Facebook.

Some people gave advice on how to try to get the tar out.

Some people suggested scissors to cut it out.

Some people said it was hopeless.

Most people simply laughed.

But I really liked one piece of advice I received…

“I say pitch the sheets and put the pj shirt in a ziploc bag in a memory box.”

That sounded good to me.

And it made me think on how we often deal with sin.

It may seem innocent enough…but then it gets sticky.  And it weighs us down.

Takes away our freedom.

Keeps us from moving.

Displeases our Father.

So then we try to clean ourselves up.

We scrub and scrub…but we’re still left with a stain.

We try cutting it out, blocking out the world and any negative influences…but the root of it is still there.

We research methods of stopping…but the knowledge never makes it to the heart.

We start to feel hopeless…we’ll just never be able to get rid of it.

We may even turn it in to a joke…it’s not that big of a deal, right?

No matter what we try, we just can’t seem to get rid of that entangling sin on our own.  Even the Apostle Paul knew that feeling…

“For if I know the law but still can’t keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! I realize that I don’t have what it takes. I can will it, but I can’t do it. I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.

It happens so regularly that it’s predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God’s commands, but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge.

I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question?”  – Romans 7:17-24 (The MESSAGE)

The real question.  Doesn’t anyone have advice for me that will really work?!

“The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does.” – Romans 7:25 (The MESSAGE)

The answer isn’t more “Goo Gone” or the right detergent or hours worth of scrubbing.

The answer is a more of JESUS.  

He’s already conquered sin.  And the more we have of HIM, the less we’ll have of the sticky stuff.

So maybe it would be better to just throw the old sheets away…

Put to death therefore what is earthly in you…In these you too once walked, when you were living in them.  But now you must put them all away…” – Colossians 3:5-7 (ESV)

Take it off.  Throw it away.  And don’t come back to it.

“…put on the new self, which is being renewed in the knowledge after the image of its Creator.”  – Colossians 3:10 (ESV)

Put HIM on.  

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  – 1 John 1:9 (ESV)

Our Father, who knows our weaknesses, promises to take the old stuff and throw it away.

“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.

As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.”  -Psalm 103:11-13

And unlike the pajama shirt, our sin doesn’t have to get put away in a memory box and pulled out from time to time.

“I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins.”  – Isaiah 43:25

“I have blotted out your transgressions like a cloud and your sins like mist; return to me, for I have redeemed you.”  – Isaiah 44:22

Isaiah sure is thankful to not be stuck to his bed anymore.  And I don’t want to be stuck in my sin.

I’m thankful for a Father who will throw it away and give me His Son to put on instead.  

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