Yesterday, as I was washing dishes, I came across something caked on a bowl pretty good. Which required me to scrub harder. Then grab a more abrasive tool for the cleaning job in order to make the bowl beautiful again, clean, fit for use, to be “worthy” of what it was designed for.
Immediately the Spirit showed me the obvious metaphor.
In this Lenten season of purification and simplifying of our life, we think of how God desires to cleanse us of that which hinders from full flourishing and effectiveness in the Kingdom.
This cleansing can be fairly painless if we are open, willing to change, and hold everything with an open hand trusting God to know better than we do what is best for us.
But, the tighter our Kung-Fu grip on things, on ways of thought that are not helpful, the harder Yahweh has to scrub. And if we really don’t want to let go, God may use more abrasive (and therefore more painful) tools to get us clean, fit for Kingdom use, worthy of our design.
Let’s say your “caked on food” is daily self-loathing. This requires an obvious focus on…yourself, which necessarily diminishes your awareness of others and their needs around you. Hence, you are not fully available for the Master’s glorious use in the beautiful Kingdom of God. You are unfit (much like how eating donuts everyday makes you unfit for daily exercise). So that self-loathing will need to be removed. Somehow.
Note that when we talk of being worthy, we’re speaking of condition—being of worthy condition for something—not value and worth as a person. You are of immense value and worth, or else Jesus wouldn’t have died for you, and God wouldn’t bother scrubbing you.
My child, don’t make light of the Lord’s rebuke, or grow weary when he takes issue with you; for the Lord disciplines those whom he loves, and chastises every child he welcomes.
~Proverbs 3:11-12/ Hebrews 12:5b-6