(Something to think about when you clean)
For those of you who are really proficient at cleaning and keeping house…you may be tempted to judge me, and I can TOTALLY understand why. You’ve been warned.
There’s one towel in our home that has not been washed for over a year…maybe…three years.
I SHOULD be ashamed I guess. Maybe afraid of people judging me over a towel, see tomorrow’s post. But what God taught me as I washed the towel by hand…it’s too good not to share.
So this towel had stains of when my husband worked in the military. He was a maintainer so his hands got REAL dirty.
Washing the towel today, I got a little sentimental because of what it represented. Our lives are different than how they were in the military. But I can say it’s not necessarily for the better or worse because I strive to be content at all times. It’s unfathomable the differences that have taken place. How God has provided through it all.
Which is why I’m grateful for the experience and the reminder God gave me… a towel is a towel but God can illustrate ANYTHING to us through His will.
Once I got over my sentiment, I was hopeful to see what God would teach me. I just knew this could be an experience I could write about.
Wow, was God good!
The towel was NOT going to be washed with our clothes because I did not want it to taint other garments. Recently, I saw a picture that showed how if we are the light to others our light can “rub off” on others, and essentially that light they have can rub off on more people. A domino effect.
My friend, to my horror and sadness, brought up how easily darkness can do the same.
It’s true. When we are sinful, we can hurt others because of our sin or we can pull in others to sin as well. Gossip is a perfect example. It hurts the people we talk about, and it encourages those we gossip with to not only listen to gossip but partake of it (through sharing their own gossip) as well.
Well, the towel had to be separated from the rest. It wasn’t getting laundry soap. Nope. It got a special concoction I like to call…baking soda and dish soap. Haha!
In life, we need a special concoction, too! The salvation of Jesus Christ.
We can’t seek it from others, only Christ Himself. It is only through Christ that we can be cleansed from our sins and made into a new creation.
(NIV) 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”
Having a relationship with Jesus Christ also starts the process of sanctification. There may be things we will need to give up that we aren’t aware of when we first receive Christ as our Lord and Savior.
I had to wash the towel over and over in hot water. Rubbing the baking soda in and letting the grittiness of the baking soda get the dirt that had been clinging to the towel for years. It was a process.
Over and over, wringing out the water. It was oddly satisfying to see the dark water that came from the towel. It meant I was getting the dirt out! As the towel was becoming cleaner, the water became more and more clear.
There are going to be moments in life we feel wrung out, and when we think we could not possibly be wrung out once more, it happens again. It’s important to understand that God does NOT give us what we can handle. Only regarding temptation are we given what we can handle.
Weakness in Christ is great strength because of the comfort knowing He is enough, especially when we can’t handle it. During trials of our faith being tested, the moments we are shattered in sin, Jesus is still there. God is still God. His comforting Holy Spirit is ready to refine.
We do not have to be aware of sin for dirt to be wrung out of us. The sin may long already be a part of us. It sprouted from a seed planted from long ago.
We may be holding onto sins we aren’t aware of like bitterness or anger formed from grudges long ago. King David wrote prayers of asking the Lord to reveal hidden sin. Sometimes it is only when we come closer to the Lord that He reveals sin. Conviction is not always what people think it is.
We don’t always have to have a moment of, “Oh, I’m dirty! I need to be cleansed.”
Sometimes, it is not until we see the dirty water running down the drain that we realize how dirty we are.
An example I share a lot on this blog is unwholesome media and how that affects us.
Sometimes we just need to stop waiting to see if God wants us to give up a show or movie because it has curse words and nudity in it. Sometimes we need to give things over to God because we know it does not glorify God, we do not need any other truth than that. It’s hard to know we’ve been desensitized…when we are desensitized.
Once the towel was clean, I started going over the towel with cold water.
The beauty of being cleansed by Jesus Christ is how refreshing it is. The burdens are unloaded. We feel lighter. We see the truth better. We can love better! All because of Jesus. Sometimes we need those refreshing reminders of everything we have gone through and how God was there with us every moment.
I know the history of the towel and where its been. I know how the dark stains got there before they were removed. The towel is clean, but there are some spots that have a little shade. There are some hints of the past before the cleansing.
In closing, there are two things I want to share.
In life, like I said, we need to remember that receiving salvation does not mean we are done in becoming renewed. There will be many sins that will be brought up to us we need to give over to Christ. This is all about learning to submit to God before anything else. This is all about choosing Him over self. The more active we are in this the closer we are growing to Christ and see His hand daily in our life!
Second, what once was stained darkness has been transformed into a testimony. We have a story of who we were before Christ. How He made a difference in our lives to the point we knew we needed Him more than anything else. The change that happened out of accepting Christ. The proof that we are a new creation in Christ and how evident it is to those around us.
Before Christ, we are like a dirty towel. But after Christ…we become something else entirely.
My dirty towel became an illustration of sin and the Savior. Praise God!
Has God ever used something small to teach you something big?
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