When Being Washed by the Water Hurts

Even when the rain falls
Even when the flood starts rising
Even when the storm comes
I am washed by the water
– Needtobreathe

Sometimes I don’t want to read my Bible.

Sometimes I don’t want to pray.

Sometimes I don’t even want to leave the house on Sunday and go to church.

Sound familiar?

One of these is blatantly obvious to everyone else when we do it, so most of us just suck it up and do it to save face (at least I do). The other two are hidden, and if we skip them, no one is the wiser. Sometimes we can even skip them for weeks and months on end without anyone figuring it out.

However, the longer we spend away, the harder it is to come back. The longer it’s been since I picked up my devos the more I look at them and go “Well, one more day won’t set me back too much” until it becomes “I’m too far behind to even bother now…” The whole time we inherently know that we need to read it again. We understand the importance of sitting down and praying. But we also know that it’s going to hurt to start again.

In Ted Dekker’s series “The Circle Trilogy” (except it’s 4 books???) he has a beautiful analogy for this my friend reminded me of yesterday. When the world has “fallen”, they have to wash themselves in a lake daily to remain human. If they don’t, they begin to dry out and become gross and flakey. One can go a few days without washing, but the more you go without, the less you want to wash because the water is going to sting. A lot. In fact, if I remember correctly, it almost burns when you go in after a long period of being away.

It’s like that for us too: the first few plunges back into the water after avoiding it is like getting a child to wash on bath day. We don’t want to be clean, in fact, we’ve started to not notice the dirt we’ve been wallowing in. And the dirt isn’t too bad, or so we think. The end result is great, but there is pain to get there – we have to get wet (and soap. And potentially a lot of scrubbing).

It’s true that we’re washed by the water, and that no matter what comes our way Jesus is with us, but are you really walking with him? Or are you just waltzing around pretending to be washing yourself daily, but hiding behind a pretty outer appearance? It’s all too easy to hide the dirty, dried out inside (I know I do it too).

It’s hard to start again. Especially when we don’t have any desire to start again. We know it will hurt, it will sting, it will burn.  But like an obedient child on bath day, we have to start. We know we need to wash, so we need to pour the water, get in the tub, and wash.

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