East from the West

5533134212_e929cc8b0b“For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward 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 pities his children, so the Lord pities those who fear Him. For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust. (Psalm 103:11-14)

“As far as the east is from the west.” What a great Scripture! What comes to your mind when you hear this amazing promise from the 103rd Psalm? I bet I can guess. It’s probably the very same thought I have: Cats and memory foam. Am I right? We’re riding on the same thought wave, right, so of course it’s cats and memory foam. Wait. What? What do you mean reading this fantastic Psalm conjurors up no thinking of cats? And no memory foam either? Huh, that’s weird, it must just be me. Can I tell you why my twisted mind pictures cats and memory foam? Oh. Well, I’ll tell you anyway.

A few years ago we had a thick slice of memory foam sitting atop our way-to-hard mattress. One day while the bedding was in the wash our big white long-haired male cat with huge paws decided to jump on the bed and check out the new sheet less look. So Alex walks a couple steps from the bottom of the bed and he was already digging the memory foam. “Man, this is soft.” He then proceeded to stroll up to the headboard. “Yeah, this is prime kneading material right here. Yeah, I’m making bread, baby.” Then for some reason Alex took a step backwards. He froze in place and his eyes grew to saucer size. He watched dumb-founded where his big paws had just been and the memory foam was returning to its original flat surface. This forced him to take another step back which only caused a repeat. Alex took on the appearance of the most freaked out living thing on the planet. He then took another slow step back, stop, freak, slow step back, stop, freak…until he slowly walked backwards right off the bottom of the bed.

If that description makes you smile or even chuckle a little bit, you should have been there because I cannot describe the actual hilarity. It was hysterical! And of course being the sensitive souls we are, we kept trying to get Alex to jump back up on it again. He wanted no parts of that and from that point on when he saw the bed stripped down he ran for the basement and goodbye.

Okay, and the connection to Psalm One-O-Three??? Well, while Alex was trying to get away from his paw prints even as they disappeared after him, my strange mind flashed on “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” We step sin all over everything, leaving a mark, making footprints. Forget carbon footprints, we have a much bigger problem – sin prints. We are forever leaving them in our wake and they condemn us and we freak and back away and then run. But for those in Christ, those sin prints disappear – gone in His mercy and His grace. Gone in the new covenant: “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah…For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” (Jeremiah 31:31-40; Hebrews 9:8,12)

The promised new covenant came in Christ who “has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.” (Heb 9:26) And as the stirring old hymn says, “Just as I am, and waiting not to rid my soul of one dark blot, to Thee whose blood can cleanse each spot, O Lamb of God, I come! I come!” When we who are but dust come to Him, our sin prints are cleansed away and remembered no more.

So, now what comes to your mind when you read or hear the 103rd Psalm? That’s right, cats and memory foam! Welcome to my world.

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