I’m not the neatest baker, nor is my mixer the neatest mixer, at least not when its beaters, generously coated with batter, get turned up to the highest speed. No idea how I did that, but I did, and I had quite the mess to clean up!
Since I couldn’t tend to clean-up right away, (I had to finish getting the banana bread into the oven, and tend to other matters,) my beautiful red mixer was now laden with hard, caked-on batter, topped off with a fine coating of flour. And all of this dulled the shiny red color of my mixer.
As I was wetting a dishcloth under the faucet, I could tell my mixer was cringing at what it knew was coming.
I brought the damp cloth over to the mixer and started wiping and scraping the debris off of it. But the more pressure I applied, the more it inched away from my cleaning efforts.
The more I wiped, the more obvious it became that my traveling mixer was simply not going to stand still for my plan. So, as one might guess, it wasn’t getting any cleaner. How could it – when it was just inching away from the very process and pressure that would make it clean and beautiful again?
I finally decided to lay it down on its side, where I could apply pressure from the top. Sure enough, pressing down, it was much easier to wipe the gunk off, now in a position that it couldn’t squirm out of.
The whole scenario brings to mind several truths…
One is that God’s sanctification of us is something we should not be avoiding. For one thing, it’s part of our inheritance as children of God:
“For the Lord disciplines the one He loves, and He chastises everyone He receives as a son.” (Hebrews 12:6)
For another thing, we can’t get away from Him, even if we are foolish enough to try!
“I can never get away from my God! If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the place of the dead, you are there. If I ride the morning winds to the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, your strength will support me.” (Psalms 139:7-10)
The Lord also showed me that, just as it was easier for me to clean up my mixer when it was laying down, so is it easier for Him to clean me up when I am laid down – surrendered – not resisting – rather than “standing up” and inching away from Him.
I remember with sadness the times that I have pushed away from Him when he was trying to do – or show me – something that would help clean me up, heal me up, free me up, and make me more into the “Barb” He originally had in mind when He designed me!
He desires to remove all the caked-on gunk of my failures, weaknesses, mistakes, and sin – which are multitudinous – as well as wipe away the dust-coating of worldly influences that still cling to my soul and dull the brightness of it.
He wants to wash me whiter than snow – which reminds me of one of my “uncomfortably favorite” Scripture verses,
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” (Psalms 51: 10)
Yes, Lord, give me a fresh, clean heart.
Give me ears that delight to hear Your voice, rather than try to ignore You, or drown You out… (– like when You’re trying to tell me I’m getting close to “five,” but I don’t want to hear that!)
Breathe into me a spirit that’s surrendered to You, not standing stiff-necked in opposition to what You are wanting me to surrender… (– which I know is my rights to eat all the food I want, when I want!)
Scrape away from my heart what isn’t holy or helpful, rather than me continuing to let it cling to me. (– along with the excess weight that clings to my frame)
And help me renew my mind so that I have a correct and truthful view of You… of your discipline and sanctification of me… of the boundaries You have set for me that I have not seen as “pleasant,” but that You say otherwise…
“For the moment, all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant. But later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” (Hebrews 12:11)
In essence, Lord, I need and want You to give me a right view of anything I currently have a wrong view of.
For this to happen, Lord, I need You to continue doing a cleansing work in me. So I choose to lay still in Your Master-surgeon arms, and, instead of inching away from You and the heart surgery You want to do in me, I choose to inch toward You, and let You do whatever You want to do in my heart!
All this so that I can better reflect the “true colors” of Your nature, Lord, better represent You, and thus be better at drawing people to You.