Do you ever feel like you know the right answer but it’s easier to believe a lie? Sometimes the truth is just too harsh, too hard. I think because it usually means there is something bigger than me, bigger than my feelings or circumstances. I’ve decided that moments like these will now and forevermore be referred to as “bathtub moments”, or maybe more true to the experience, “bathtub seasons”. Let me explain.
I’ve always thought baths were kind of odd. Something you did as a kid but even the thought of taking a bath as an adult just seems silly. First of all, and this is unrelated but a question I need to pose for my own peace of mind, am I the only one thats way too long for bathtubs? I know I’m freakishly tall, but come on, surely I’m not alone. Secondly, the basic premise is that we willing hop into a big vat of warm water and primarily just sit there. I’ll admit, I have grown found of the relaxation that just comes from just sitting, freeing myself physically and mentally of any kind of work, but if I think about it too much, it still baffles me.
Here is the point. We get in, with all our filth, with the acquisition of dirt from wherever our day has taken us and we “bathe”. So spiritually, we get in with our mess, our hurts and hangups, our discontentment and dissatisfaction, our unrest, our anger and confusion, our fear. You name it, we hop on in with it securely fastened to our hearts. And then what?
And then we just sit there! Willingly. We fester in it until our fingers are wrinkly and our heart are tattered. Here is the twisted part, I have no idea why on earth we do.
This whole idea isn’t new. After all, aren’t we buried with Christ in baptism, and raised to walk in the newness of life? Our salvation is perfectly represented and symbolized with water, and the concept of cleansing. But beyond this, don’t we daily need that cleansing? Don’t we sometimes go days without it? And sometimes, don’t we just sit in the proverbial bathtub for days on end? We forgot the other half of the story, that we can actually get up, we aren’t stuck there.
Isn’t the other half the beautiful part? A beauty made abundantly evident by our defiled state as we enter. Christ has defeated sin, and in his power we can stand up, get out and leave it all there. So why don’t we? And as Christians, don’t we sometimes get back in? How crazy is that? There it is in the mucky water, all our sin and junk, and we get back in!
Maybe deep down we know, that if we spend a little time scrubbing and then just stand up, we could leave our filth behind. But who are we without our filth? Maybe we don’t want to leave it because it has started to define us.
Maybe its because we know that when Jesus helps us out, he has somewhere to take us. And that somewhere is totally up to him, he knows the road and the destination, we don’t get to choose and we don’t get the control. Anyone else struggle through fear of uncertainty and the unknown? Trust must run deep, and that is hard if we are not continually tuned in to the heart and the character of God.
Maybe it’s because the scrubbing takes work, the standing up out of it takes work, and the journey outside the tub is sure to take work. Anyone else just too dang exhausted?
To be honest with you friends, I feel like I have one foot in the tub. I’ve spent the past couple weeks in a “bathtub season”. I let doubt and unbelief drag me back in. And you know what? Deep down I knew I needed to press in closer to Jesus, to the truth that I know, but at the time, it seemed easier to get back in and soak, free myself from the work of trusting God.
Let me just tell you, sitting in our mess might be easier, but we sure miss out. The water eventually gets cold. We realize that all our friends are out frolicking in proverbial fields of flowers and butterflies or climbing proverbial mountaintops or setting out on proverbial unknown adventures that involve risk but also excitement, and we are sitting in a tub of cold yucky water, left only with the company of our sin. I can see it now, lining our sin up like toy boats in a the bath of a two year old. That’s pretty lame. Rubber duckies get boring.
Maybe the work is worth it after all.
I think it is. Walking with Jesus is hard at times but it is so worth it. It’s exciting to see what’s outside the tub, but friends we’ve got to leave our dirt and mess behind! Sometimes that’s hard because we’re attached to it, we know it, it’s comfortable. But it will turn cold. If we just stand up and put one foot in front of the other, Jesus has abundant joy and satisfaction and adventure waiting for us. It will be hard, and exhausting, but he promises his strength and most importantly, his presence. So lets do the hard thing. Lets get out of the tub and walk with Jesus!