Tuesday, September 1, 2015

A Simple Nail and Pennies

Last Saturday I eagerly took a journey to a beautiful part of our county out in Ellenboro to a place called Parables Homeschool Book  Shoppe.  A sale was going on; I had not been there since the store had been built.  I was as excited as could be to see what kind of wonderful things I could pick up for Eli's homeschooling adventure this year.

Part of the joy of the trip was the scenery.  Beautiful trees, trees, trees with grassy pastures surrounded by beautiful painted wooden fences.  Streams rambling beside the road and at points changing sides provided a sense of peace that only the flowing water of a creek over rocks can give. High fluffy white clouds in a blue sky framed the beautiful bluish mountains in the background.

The drive itself was like a gift from the Lord to me :)

When I reached the Book Shoppe (at 515 Cub Creek Road, Ellenboro, NC for any homeschoolers looking for a wonderful collection of used curriculum to choose from), the driveway was beautifully lined with trees spaced at perfect intervals on each side and a beautiful fence.  I drove up to the shoppe and was just amazed at how pretty the store was (and I was not even inside yet!).  As I took my books out of the car to take inside to put on consignment I was met at the door by the kind and gentle owner.  She had a strong young well-mannered grandson who was happy to help me unload another box of books from my trunk.  It is always a joy to be around a young boy who has manners!

I was made to feel at home and instructed in how the store was laid out.  The sale included several tables of free items, which I did find a couple of things for free.  The prices were wonderful!  I was able to make purchases for our year that completed everything I was looking for plus a few for next year.  And throughout my shopping experience, the young boy checked on me to make sure I was "okay" and if I "needed anything?"

It was just a wonderful place to browse, spend time, talk with other homeschoolers and actually just relax a little for me.

I came away with many treasures...but one in particular has been a big hit.  It is called 365 Simple Science Experiments with Everyday Materials, published by Scholastic.
Eli and I have been doing some pretty fun science experiments.  Today we took some old, dull copper pennies and placed them in the bottom of a small glass dish.  We then squeezed the juice of two lemons over the pennies and added a pinch of salt.  We let this sit for 3 minutes.  We then took a well cleaned shiny silver nail and dropped it down into the lemon juice, salt and pennies.  We then had to wait.
After about ten minutes we noticed the shape of the nail floating on the top of the liquid.  But we still had to wait.  After thirty minutes we took tweezers and picked the nail up and dried it off.

No longer was it a shiny silver nail....it had been transformed!!!  Now it was a copper-plated nail!!
Eli was ecstatic to add this this copper plated nail to his "nuts and bolts and nails" collection.

What happened was this:  Copper from the pennies interacted with the acid of the lemon juice to form a new compound called copper citrate.  When we put the nail into the solution the compound plated the nail with a thin layer of copper that cannot be rubbed off.

I thought about how this experiment could exemplify two parts of the Christian life.
1)    2 Corinthians 5:21 says "God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God."

We are the dirty, dull pennies in this experiment and Jesus Christ is the new shiny nail.   When Jesus gave His life, His blood for us for forgiveness of our sins, He took our sins on Himself.  It was His shed blood for us that allowed Him to take on the sins of the world so that He could pay the price for sin which was death...for all of us.  He was perfect but on the cross His work was to take on all the sin of the world...like the nail was taking on the copper of the pennies.  Only instead of lemon juice being the active agent that caused the change...it was the very life blood of Jesus Christ.   I noticed that those pennies were a lot shinier than when they went into that solution.  They were changed too because of the change in the nail.  And we can be changed because of the blood of Jesus.  We can be forgiven and free.

2)  The second way I thought about seeing God in this experiment is that in 2 Corinthians 5:17 we read that "Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation;  the old is passed away, and the new has come".    When we are covered by the blood of Jesus we do become a new creation...just as the nail became a new creation.  It was once just a silver nail...but under the work of the solution it became copper plated.  We were once sinners headed towards eternal torment and separation from God...but under the work of Jesus Christ's sacrifice, we are now seen as "righteous" in the eyes of God.  He sees us as a new creation, one sanctified though the blood of Jesus

As I continued reading tonight in 2 Corinthians 5 , I read about how we should try to reconcile others to the Lord as we are ourselves reconciled to Him.  When we have experienced something wonderful we want to share it with others.  Salvation is the most wonderful gift of all!!  What is holding us back?  Nothing should be.

Today I heard the whisper of God in a shiny nail, lemons and some old, dull pennies.  Where did you hear the Lord today?

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