New lesson, slightly related....
Sticky will come off, but it usually takes some scrubbing. (especially if its tree sap.... But thats another story) Getting cleaned sometimes is uncomfortable. It usually is, actually.
.... Ok, so you, taking a shower is not painful or uncomfortable. That's not what I'm talking about. But having someone ELSE clean you or fix you is not fun.
Ask a one year old who wants to play but who's diaper needs to be changed.
Ask a preschooler with gum stuck in her hair.
Ask a kid who has gotten a splinter in his hand
Ask a dog who needs a bath but hates water.
Ask a plant that needs its dead pieces literally chopped off.
Sometimes being cleaned up is uncomfortable. Sometimes it's even painful. But it is always necessary.
Yes. Jesus takes my mess. He lets me touch him with all my sticky. He loves it. He loves me. But he doesn't want me to stay that way. He knows that there is something better. He loves me enough to clean my sticky off, no matter what it takes, scrubbing included.
The problem is this: as much as I hate my sticky mess, I, in some twisted way, like it. If my hands are sticky, I'll hate the feeling, but I'll also try to get my hands stuck together or see how else I can play with the sticky. As much as I hate my sin, I somehow enjoy it. I wanna hold on to my mess and keep the sticky. I want to keep doing things my way and pretend that nothing is wrong. I want to do whatever I want, when I want to do it. I want to be ok with ignoring rules or doing things against my better judgement. I am in the dirt, and I want to continue rolling around in it. But that's not how it works. Not if Jesus is making me better, which he is. Not if Jesus is exactly who He said He is... Which he is!!!
The Bible talks about sheep a lot.
Sheep are stupid.
No, really. They are.
I am a sheep.
Sheep wander off all the time. They have to be trained to stay near the shepherd to be safe. How do sheep get trained? How do they learn to stay near the shepherd? Welp, that answer isn't pretty.
When a lamb wanders off into danger or leaves the shepherd, shepherds often break the lamb's leg. the lamb obviously then enters into a healing process, in which they have to stay close to the shepherd. In turn, they learn his voice, and they learn what following him looks like. All the time, the shepherd is gentle and nurtures the lamb.
I wander off all. the. time. I get selfish and proud and entitled and... ALL kinds of other things.
Jesus corrects me.
The result looks like me kicking, screaming, punching, crying, stomping, and jumping up and down. I don't like His correction. But then, then I'm forced to come closer. Lean in. Be still and hear what He has to say. He is so gentle. He uses the time to teach me His voice and remind me of His truth. He heals me. He cleans me. He frees me.
If the diaper isn't changed, the baby gets diaper rash.
If gum is allowed to stay, it creates knotty, tangled chaos
If the splinter isn't removed, an infection comes
If the dog doesn't get a bath, fleas make him miserable
If the pieces aren't pruned, the whole plant dies.
I don't get grace. I don't always like it. I like my sticky mess, but Jesus wants to
take it and that involves scrubbing. Taking my mess, cleaning me up and making me better involves me being challenged and corrected and scrubbed and pruned. All for my good and His glory. I don't get grace.
But He does.
Abba, help me trust you to clean me up well. You know what you are doing.