Monday, 15 August 2011

Filthy Cups

A milk-bucket bug is no fun. It arrives uninvited and stays overtime. Last year, we had no idea what a bucket bug was until the bacteria had made itself right at home. By that time, we had a real problem on our hands. It started with a smell. We were sitting at the dinner table, raising steaming cups of tea (with milk) to our lips, when Mum and I simultaneously halted in midair as the steaming smell hit our noses. Unsure as to the origins of the smell, we went ahead and sipped... and hastily put our cups back down (Dad has black tea, so he was spared :). The next step was to smell the jug of milk: again, we hastily put it away from our noses. Then ensued the hunt of trying to find the source of the smell. Was it the straining cloth? The milk containers? The milk bucket? Wasn't I cleaning the bucket properly? Was it something the cow was eating? And so the questions went on. Eventually, we decided that the milk bucket was the bacteria source. I was amazed, because every day I did the proper sterilisation process - the cold rinse, the detergent scrub, the hot rinse, and a day in the sun. What bacteria could survive such a cleansing process? But obviously, it could and was surviving, and thriving. In the event of such a germ crisis (the milk was no longer drinkable, and no amount of scrubbing and cleansing was helping), we had to take action. We debated on what to use, and finally settled on simple old bicarb soda. And after a week or so of consistent, diligent bicarb soda rinses, the milk was pronounced taste-free.

Well... last week, after many months of beautiful-tasting milk, the smell and taste came back... much to our horror. We weren't looking forward to the whole sterilisation process :). Back out came the trusty bicarb soda.

Through this experience which was twice repeated, something struck me. All my diligent scrubbing with detergent, hot water, and cold water couldn't thwart the bug. Yet the simplest, quickest rinse of bicarb soda and water, was enough to thoroughly kill it. Simple though this is, it got me thinking :). About our state before the Lord.

In Roy Hession's book 'The Calvary Road', the human heart is compared to a cup. Jesus passes by, and if that cup is clean, He can fill it to overflowing with the Water of Life. The problem is that in our fallen state, that cup is full of filthy sin. We see that filth, and what do we try to do? Like I tried to scrub away the bacteria from the milk bucket, we try to clean up that sin ourselves. To be 'good people', worthy of the Water of Life, who can scrub away that sin by attempting to change our ways

. But just as my scrubbing did nothing, our cup-cleaning works to no avail. The bug persists, and so does the filth in our cups. But if we ask Him to show us the filth in our cups, and give it to Him, He will cleanse those cups in His precious blood. The bicarb soda killed the germ without any of my scrubbing. Just so, the precious blood of Jesus ALONE washes our cups clean from sin, by His sacrifice - not by any efforts of ours to scrub.

"Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost" (Titus 3:5)

May we beseech the Lord Jesus to show us the filth in our cups today, and cleanse them by His precious blood, and fill them with His Living Water!


Carra - a bondservant of Jesus said...

Dear Maddy,
Oh, Amen! What a lovely post! That really blesses me. Nothing I do can "clean" the "bacteria" out of my sinful flesh.

Oh, isn't Jesus Wonderful. I am so happy in Him. He is my Everything! :) Thank you for being such a wonderful sister to me.

Love yours truly, Carra

PS. An idea about the bucket... maybe you could wash it with soda once a week or something - then maybe it would stay away, and you wouldn't have that long cleaning process to go through... just a thought. Much love.

April said...

Hey Maddy! That was a really interesting story....reminds me of the time our goat ate some onions and we had onion-milk with our morning bowl of cereal! :) Yick! :) Adventures in farming..... :)
I liked that you shared about the Lord Jesus. Thank you. :)
May Jesus bless you!

Sarah said...

Hi Maddy,
What a wonderful post! Your adventure with the milk bucket was quite interesting (you narrated it nicely, too!!). I'm glad you found a solution:). Yes, all this holds wonderful lessons about our heart-state before our Lord...Only His precious Blood will cleanse us from our sins. Praise the Lord for His mercy and love!

Love in Him,

P.S. By the way, Maddy, It's good that you've changed the font style of your's much easier to read this way. Cheers:)

P.S. 2: Hi Cara and April. I heard about you from, of course Maddy, and also from my younger sister, Joy. I've also seen your posts and blog. It is very encouraging to see other Godly young ladies these days who truly love Jesus. May God truly bless you.
Love in Him,

Maddy said...

Dear Carra,

Lovely to hear from you, thanks for the encouragement :). And also for sharing about your faith in Jesus our precious Lord... it is always a blessing to read your words. I love your blog, for that reason! How we need Him, and how precious is His redeeming love and great mercy. Praise Him!

Like Sarah said, it is very encouraging to meet another young woman who truly loves the Lord. May you be blessed in Him today!

Also, thanks for that advice about using the bicarb soda. It certainly makes sense, and it sounds like a good thing to do from now on!

Much love,

Maddy said...

Hi April,

Oh, yuck :). Onion-flavoured milk would be awful! It's amazing how the food-flavours come through so strongly in the milk. I've heard that garlic can be a very strong (and bad) flavour, too. Last year, another milker had a very strange flavour in her milk, and we finally guessed that it might have been from lantana or even tobacco bush. It's certainly interesting to anticipate what they might chew on during the dryer weather, which we're experiencing here in Australia at the moment :).

Yes, farming is an adventure... with lots of surprises around the corner! I love hearing about your and Carra's farming adventures :).

Thank you, it was nice to hear from you!

God bless,


Maddy said...

Dear Sarah,

Thank you, I loved hearing your thoughts :). Yes, all praise to the Lord for His grace and mercy, which endures forever!

Thanks too for the feedback about the new font... I'd never really looked at it before the other day, when I realised how hard it looked to read! I'm so glad that this helps.

May the Lord bless you today. If He wills, I hope we can meet again soon!


Sarah said...

Yes, we'd very much love to meet again soon...God willing, as soon as I'm finished with this term's assignments and exams!! I'd appreciate your prayers for that:(! It's always a very stressful time:(.
It is lovely to have lovely sisters in the Lord with whom one could share and thus encourage and pray for one another.
God bless you.
Love in Him,

Joy said...

Dear Maddy,
Wow... I loved reading about the adventures you had with the cow and the milk in the bucket :)! I really liked too the analogy you gave between the dirty, bug ridden milk bucket and our own sinful hearts. Like you were trying to wash out the bucket with the normal methods, it is the same with us when we try to make ourselves "good people" through our own effort. But praise to the Lord that we cannot do it by ourselves. But it is only Christ's precious blood that can cleanse us from the sin of our lives, like the soda!

It certainly is wonderful that you found a way to take the taste away, Maddy! and oh... I find it hard to imagine drinking milk with an onion or garlic taste as April was saying, but it must be awful! It must be fun but also challenging to live on a farm and deal with animals. :)

God bless, Maddy, and it will be wonderful to get together soon too!
In Him, your sister and friend in Christ,

Maddy said...

That would be lovely, Sarah! It certainly sounds like a stressful time; I'll be praying for you through it. Yes, it is very precious to know sisters in the Lord to share and pray with. I'm blessed to know you, and your family!

The Lord is faithful, I pray that He 'fills your cup' today with His Living Water, and with His peace that passeth all understanding, in this stressful exam week. Praise Him!

Love Maddy

Maddy said...

Dear Joy,

that is so true, praise Him that we cannot do the cleansing in our own strength! Praise the Lord for His amazing grace... what a precious gift it is, that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Yes, it is awful when the milk has a strange flavour! Working with animals certainly is challenging and fun, at the same time. Maybe you could come and milk the cow with me one morning!

May God bless you, too.

Hope to see you soon :)



Shaz in Oz.CalligraphyCards said...

Ah it is always the little things in life that trip us up Maddy! like the Solomon says in the Song of Solomon about the "little foxes which spoil the vine": or little sins which spoil our relationship with the LORD. God bless, and thanks for sharing,
Shaz in Oz.x

Maddy said...

Dear Shaz,

That is true! Our heart can be very deceitful - we can so easily pass over those small sins and think we're good people... when our cups truly are filthy. May the LORD reveal this sin to us, that we may bring it to the Cross.

God bless you!

Mary said...

Dear Maddy,
What an amazing experience! And how wonderful it that the Lord teaches us spiritual lessons from the events that come our way in the going about of everyday. We only need to look and listen. We praise Him for His ever cleansing blood!! His blood is the only thing that can wash us thoroughly and make us whiter than snow, just as only the soda can clean your milk bucket. Amen.
Much love.
Your sister in the Lord,

Maddy said...

Dear Mary,

It certainly is wonderful how He teaches us spiritual lessons even in daily home tasks. I often miss these lessons because I'm too busy rushing ahead to wait upon Him and listen; yes, we only need to look and listen to Him. Yes, His precious blood ONLY can wash us thoroughly! I love this promise, Though your sins are as scarlet, they shall be whiter than snow. Praise Him!

Thank you for sharing, Mary.

Much love in Him,