Spiritual SOS

I hate leaving dirty dinner dishes in the sink overnight.

Doesn’t mean I never do it… but I hate it! ¬† ūüôā

Partly, it’s the sight of them the next morning. ¬†The prospect of having to clean up yesterday’s mess before I can move forward with the opportunities TODAY is presenting.

Partly, it’s the increased difficulty imposed by the delay. ¬†The dirt and grime are now caked on. ¬†More “elbow grease” is required. ¬†What yesterday would have been a simple “Rinse & Wipe” has now become a “Soak & Scrub.”

Any number of steel wool products are available. ¬†My favorite is “SOS” brand. ¬†But, although it cleans well, it leaves my fingers — and the pot — a little worse for the wear.

It’s the same with so many things… isn’t it Lord?

Like anger.

“In your anger¬†do not sin. ¬†Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give¬†the devil a foothold.” ¬†(Ephesians 4:26-27)

When anger gets “caked on,” it is not so easily “scrubbed” off.

In the natural, if caked on grit is not removed, it becomes a Grit Magnet every time we use that pan again. ¬†The high heat of cooking seems to meld it together with every new layer of food residue. ¬†Until we’re resigned to bringing out the Big Guns.

SOS to the rescue?!

Except we all know the damage that steel wool can inflict on what was supposed to be a nonstick surface. ¬†How much more so the “scrubbing off” that is required when layer upon layer of anger covers and hardens around our hearts?

Anger isn’t the sin. ¬†It may be the appropriate emotion in the moment. ¬†Sin is what comes later… when we dwell on the offense and our anger takes on a life (or death) of its own.

“… each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. ¬†Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” ¬†(James 1:13b-15)

I know, Lord. ¬†I started this blog saying I “hated” leaving the dirty dishes in the sink. ¬†Hate? Not hardly! ¬† ūüôā

But I do know Hate.  I have felt appropriate anger before that festered until it became HATRED (all caps, bold).  The damage and, yes, the multitude of sins that sprang out of the hatred took decades to heal.

My spiritual “grime” was baked on pretty thick when You first made Yourself known to¬†me, Lord… in Your unmistakable and irresistible ways. ¬†I didn’t even recognize some of my sin layers as such, because everyone around me was applauding me and encouraging me in them!

Then, in the flash of a moment, You cleansed me — “sterilized” me from the “germs” that had already killed me (without me knowing it).

“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of the world…” ¬†(Ephesians 2:1-2a)

Then, as I grew in intimacy with You over time — soaking in Your Presence — You began to “scrub off” layer upon layer of what had been caked on. ¬†Lifting off the burden it had become. ¬†Helping me acknowledge my “new” sins to You more quickly, so they could be “rinsed off” more readily as I grew more ready to¬†“come clean” with You.

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” ¬†(1 John 1:9)

Slowly, but surely, helping the essence of the real me — and Your Spirit inside me —¬†shine through more and more.

“And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” ¬†(2 Corinthians 3:18)

Maybe that’s why SOS is my favorite steel wool¬†cleaner, Lord. ¬†Because it reminds me of Your Spiritual SOS,¬†which is way more¬†Effective! ¬†Encouraging! ¬†Liberating!

My kitchen’s clean tonight. ¬†By Your grace, Lord… I will be, too.


Abba’s Girl

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