One night a couple of weeks ago, I was reading in my bible, and my son was using the microwave. Suddenly, I smelled something burning. And it smelled bad.
Unfortunately, he had forgotten to place water in with the stuff he was making and it caught on fire. All I could think of at the time was how amazed I was at what just one small little fire isolated within a microwave could do.
It had a far-reaching effect, no doubt about it.
The stench in the house was unbelievable. I opened the doors that night as well as first thing the following morning, wiped down the microwave, lit candles, sprayed air freshener – the works. All to no avail. We had been invaded and the stinking enemy wasn’t about to leave without a fight.
After coming home from work the next day to the same stench, only worse (more stale), I finally resorted to google to find out what I need to use to get the icky out, Apparently, once again, vinegar and I were to become close friends.
Why, oh why, did I hold out and not go to google in the first place? Because I am stubborn, that’s why. Hint, Hint: I like to try to do things on my own all too often. And I should know better by now.
This may be overly simplistic, but isn’t sin much like that gross burnt smell that permeates everything no matter what we seem to do? Isn’t it uncanny that when we attempt to do all that we can in our own power, trying to rid ourselves of it without help, we simply can’t undo the ugly much of the time? Sure, some of our own ideas and action steps may help – but like the smell in my house, the headway we make on our own typically isn’t the lasting kind. And if it is? Well, all I can say about that is that self-reliance WILL turn against us – it’s sneaky that way.
Put another way? Some type of residue is still there until we surrender fully and ask for help. Or it goes away temporarily and then comes back with a vengeance.
The vinegar doesn’t smell too great either. I suppose if I was using it on a cut or scrape it would sting too. It might even burn. (Sometimes things that are healing for us, or good for us can seem like the enemy at first).
But unlike the burned food in the microwave, the vinegar going to be a good thing that cleans out the ugly and brings in the new.
We can burn from sin in our lives – dying a long, slow, and painful and ugly death. Or we can submit fully to the Lord and all that He has in store for us and make what we can of this life, always looking with hope and expectation to our real life in eternity with Him (th really good one).
Yah, sometimes that submission thing stings a little, and sometimes it outright feels like we are walking through fire, but that kind of burn is one that enables us to be rebuilt into something whole, something good, something real and in line with God’s divine plan for us.
Once we move past the sensation and the feelings and all the thoughts that go along with hard stuff, things begin to taste sweeter, smell nicer, and the pain isn’t so hard to bear any more.
Make no mistake about it: any purification process is going to entail some sting.
If there is something in your life that stinks and just keeps coming back time and time again to haunt you, may I encourage you to go straight to the Lord as your primary source for healing, guidance and strength today? Ask Him with courage, faith, and hope to purify you – to get the gunk out. Yield to His will and whatever sting may come along with getting rid of the dark and bringing in the light.
For it’s not the light that hurts…..it’s the sickness leaving that does so. It won’t be going without a fight in most cases. Anyone ever had a fever? We get mad at the fever, but in all reality, it’s a sign that the body is doing it’s job in most cases. It’s fighting to remove what doesn’t belong there in the first place.
It’s a continual process, friends….that thing we call submission, that thing we know to be transformation. That refining we must undergo for our own good is truly meant not for our own joy, but to fulfill His purposes. But most of the time, after challenges and trials, it does bring it’s own kind of joy to us as well. His kind of joy and His kind of peace!
And that is the only lasting kind.
Instead of the stench that comes from the burning of rubbish that stinks up our lives, God can light a fire within us instead that brings about sweetness, beauty, and contentment. It’s one that has a divine purpose – and it’s one that inspires compassion, love, grace and dignity.
Yes, today, if submission is stinging or burning you a little, remember it’s just part of the purification process. Cry out to the Lord, as His son or His daughter and tell Him how you feel. Let Him know you want to do His will, and you will submit to Him, but that it isn’t feeling too good right about now. Ask Him to give you the strength to get through the burn and help make you into what He wants you to be.
I’m doing this today, and pretty much every day, friends. So please know that you are not alone. Even if I wasn’t doing so along with you, Jesus is always with you – you are never, ever alone.
Some days I feel His renewed and transformed fire within me and it ignites passion, enthusiasm, and joy. Other days, it’s one that comes from the fact that He needs to clean out the dark and smelly spots that are clouding things up.
Either way, we can choose to allow the Lord to place His fire within us however He sees fit, knowing that all the while, He has our best interests at heart.
How GREAT is our God?
Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Psalms 51:10