Thursday, December 27, 2007


Have you ever cleaned a dirty bathtub? I'm not talking about the once a week clean... I'm talking about the once every three months clean. Your once shiny bathtub has accumulated a layer of filth. Soap scum builds up, a scaly monster upon the landscape. Pieces of unidentified dirt have caked themselves onto the surface.

You boldly approach that challenge, with a hopeful heart. But as you begin to scrub, it seems to crawl deep within your skin, burrowing. You feel dirty as you peel layer after layer of dirt off of the tub. High powered chemicals aid you, but even after an hour of hard scrubbing that tub still has caked on dirt. Very few things will actually lift that dirt from the surface, and it seems like it will never, ever come off.

I feel that way often. No matter how much time I spend on my knees, scrubbing my soul and heart out, I just can't get clean. There is always that layer of crud clasping onto me, fusing itself to my very being. I feel weary, worn, and incapable.

The reality of the situation is that I am incapable. I can spend all day scrubbing, but I'm scrubbing with the wrong stuff. I will never be able to remove that crud. I don't have the 'elbow grease' to get it off. I am the one that put it there in the first place. But the news is not all bad, I'm right in at least one thing: I'm on my knees.

Despite all the scum that has caked itself onto me over the years, God doesn't see any of it. His grace, however undeserving I am, covers it all. It renews me, refreshes me, and adds that fresh smell all over again. To Him, each time I repent of my sins, I am brand new.

Amazing what cleaning a bathroom will teach you.


Anonymous said...

What you say is so true. And yet I think sometimes we refuse to see some of the crud that is there inside of us. We scrub away at stuff and God is saying, "I want you to scrub HERE." But we keep on scrubbing just where WE want to scrub, refusing to see ourselves as GOD sees us. We find all kinds of ways to justify our crud when what God is calling us to is obedience. Instead we remind God of all the scrubbing we have already done, ignoring His prompting because maybe it will hurt (our pride) too much to remove THAT crud. We are so rebellious by nature that even in our scrubbing we have to do it our way. "Behold to obey is better than to sacrifice."

Stephen said...

Super insightful! That's an aspect I didn't even touch on, for sure. How we like to scrub only the parts we want to. Keep that facet clean, but abandon the rest. Thanks!

Kristina said...

I jjst came over this blog, and it's so cool to read these lines:) I had an experience almost like that a few years ago, and it reminds me of the words that Jesus said to Pharisees about cleaning the inside so that outside will be clean. Back then I was a newly-born Christian and was working a lot on becoming a true follower of Christ:) One evening, after finishing Larry Crabb's "From the Inside out", I understood that I have so much dirt in the very depth of me, and as a psychologist, I thought, "Oh, this is easy, I will clean everything there myself. I know all the techniques and so on...". But... I was very much disappointed, because I couldn't stand the smell of the filth inside of me. At that moment I said, "I cannot do this myself, but you, Jesus, can", and I asked Him to go and clean me. You know what? At that very moment, my inner "me" became so clean that I wanted to live there. I felt like a golden palace was built inside of me. It's awesome feeling, and I still feel it:)
So, God bless you, guys;) And let Jesus do His work:) Stay on your knees;)
P.S. It's so great to find brothers and sisters all around the world:) I can surely say 'I love you":) Take care