The last house we lived in we rented and towering shelves of canning jars new and old were in the garage. I was new to the whole farming thing, but 29 acres and a plowed vegetable garden were pretty strong indications that I start.
And so I did. My first year was an absolute flop and I ended up with more weeds than vegetables. But after getting the advice of many seasoned gardeners, I began to get the hang of it and produced more than we could eat.
That’s when a friend introduced me to canning.
I remember her laughing and correcting me as I mixed up my canning terminology; I could never get the lids and rings straight. But soon, I got the hang of it all and watching her, I realized something about myself.
I was fascinated with the concept of “growing it my own.”
My husband asked our landlady if I could use the jars and she said I was welcome to them. And so I filled many and our family enjoyed canned tomatoes, pickles and applesauce.
But when it came time to move, I wasn’t quite sure if my landlady had said I could actually have the jars or not. And in the time crunch of moving, I asked my husband to grab some anyway – especially a few of the older ones.
Now, I know I have a sensitive conscience. It’s kept me out of a lot of trouble over the years. But sometimes it can be a bit overactive, and I wasn’t quite sure if this was one of those times.
I was resolved to forget about it and bring the jars out to display, but I could never bring myself around to do it.
Ugh! I hated having that dark spot on me and after many years, decided to start praying for the opportunity to “fess up.” It was humbling, but I knew I had to do it.
A few weeks ago, after a rousing church service, I discovered that my landlady had attended. I hadn’t seen her in years and as I hugged her and caught up, I knew it was my opportunity to clear what had been bothering me – whatever the outcome may be.
And so I did.
I wasn’t prepared with the love I received from her.
Smiling, she said it was no problem and that the jars were mine. I explained my guilt and she brushed it aside, letting me know that it was nothing and that I shouldn’t have worried about it.
You know, meeting my landlady like that was one of the highlights of my summer. Something had been washed away that had stood like a little black spot between God and me.
I think sometimes we might approach the throne of God the same way I did with my landlady.
We put off confessing stuff, thinking we’ve got it tucked away pretty well – I mean, why bring it out at all right?
But it festers doesn’t it?
And maybe like me, you’re missing out on something because of it. Just like I couldn’t bear to enjoy my jars, some joy in your life isn’t quite as pleasurable because of your unconfessed sin.
I want to encourage you today to get rid of it.
God’s not a mean old ogre waiting to squash us for our mistakes.
In fact, he’s more than willing to take on the burdens of our sin, if only we’d give them to him.
One of my favorite verses is 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
And if you need to confess something to someone, God will help you with that too.
Just like he did me. It may not turn out the same way, but God knows your heart.
I’ve now added the three beautiful blue Mason jars to my collection. They look really pretty against the cream color of my shelves.
But on top of all that, they mean more to me now. They’re a sky blue symbol of confessed sin and a clean conscience.