"Although you wash yourself with soda and use an abundance of soap, the stain of your guilt is still before me," declares the Sovereign Lord.
I came outside one day to find one of my daughters sitting in a seat with a stick and what looked like a green ball. "What are you doing honey?" I asked. "I'm using this stick to make a hole in this walnut so it will dry out and turn black." Being a "fixer", like many other dads I know, I sat down beside her and pulled out my trusty pocketknife and began to cut into the skin of a green-colored black walnut. As I started to carve away I took no heed of the greenish-yellow juice that came out and ran down my hand. I just figured I would scrub it all off my knife when I was finished. I finally got all the skin carved away and was down to a nice walnut. Ha… she was still poking away with a stick and would have to wait who knows how many days for the skin to turn black. Meanwhile, I had my nut.
I was victorious.
I had conquered with my trusty knife.
Now all I needed to do was head into the house and wash off my hands and my trusty knife.
Newly discovered trivia… black walnut juice stains hands and fabric.
Oh, at first it is a little greenish but it doesn't stay that way. Over the next few hours that stain will turn blacker and blacker.
For the next two days I scrubbed and scrubbed trying to get the stain off my hands and out from underneath my fingernails.
Being a good homeschool dad, I can now report that black walnut stains takes about 5 days to come off.
As homeschool parents we are not exempt from the stain of sin in our lives. Whether it is dealing with an especially challenging day with the kids or responding to a person who is ignorant when it comes to the challenges of homeschooling we all have times when our response to situations may not be entirely thought out. Like failing to study black walnuts before cutting into the skin we grab our tools and just jump into the fray not thinking of how it may stain our relationships in the future.
Enter what God said to Jeremiah. We can wash and wash with cleaners of our own makings but we will not be successful in removing the stain from before the Lord. Fortunately, God has provided the means by which we can be cleaned. He alone has the product that can cleanse us. Acts 3:19 says, "Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord…"
Have you recently experienced the stain of sin in your life?
Maybe you've responded to someone in a hurtful manner. Whatever it is, now is the time to repent and experience the refreshing of the Lord.
Fred "Fritz" Alberti is the father of 5. He and his wife started home education in 1999. He enjoys going hiking in the wood with his children and learning new things about nature. (His hands are now stain free.)