Monday, November 2, 2009

Hot Bath

But when God, our kind and loving Savior God, stepped in, he saved us from all that. It was all his doing; we had nothing to do with it. He gave us a good bath, and we came out of it new people, washed inside and out by the Holy Spirit. Our Savior Jesus poured out new life so generously. God's gift has restored our relationship with him and given us back our lives. And there's more life to come—an eternity of life! You can count on this.

Titus 3:4-8 The Message

For twelve years, since the building of our home, I have existed without HOT water—in the bath. Why is this important??? Some could care less whether or not they ever take a bath. I, on the other hand, LOVE baths. It allows me a place in my home where no one can follow me. I can take a book and escape. And that’s what I have always done in each of the houses we have lived in - until this one...the new house. Go figure.

From the moment I discovered this problem, I started asking questions—questions to the builder, questions to the plumbers, questions basically to whoever would listen. Someone must have an answer! But, no one did. Maybe this was a plot against me! Or, maybe God just didn’t want me to take baths. In my madness, these seemed to be viable options.

Finally after 11 years, I became completely desperate. I began transporting hot water from bathroom sink to the bath tub. Ten pitchers later - poof! - I'd have a hot bath. On some level, though, this still did not seem right—shouldn’t I be able to turn on the water and it get hot! Other people I know have hot water every time they get in the tub—why was I not one!

After many, many years, I had resigned myself to this sort of existence. It had become “do-able”. Until one day this fall when my mom and dad came to visit. Before long we were in a discussion about the water upstairs.

All of a sudden my father says, "I’ll take a look at it. I think I know what is wrong with it." Okay, whatever, I thought. In a few moments, he came back down stairs and behold there was HOT water. “What was it?” I desired to know that which had plagued me for years.

“A scald protector—it just needed to be removed.”

It took all of a minute—and now a whole new life of HOT BATHS. In fact, sometimes it is SCALDING—so hot I cannot get in right away or I have to add COLD water (go figure).

One day - as I was getting into my hot bath - God spoke to me in a story.

I had for many years lived a LUKE WARM existence spiritually—I wanted to live with a different temperature but it seemed to elude me. I had always been drawn to God and "knew" He loved me. Wasn’t that enough? Something inside of me cried out “NO—there is so so much more—how bad do you want it?” Looking back I see that I didn't want it bad enough. I was unwilling to search after it with everything in me.

Every so often, thanks to an author or sermon, I would sense my temperature change, but then it would go back to temped. On one level the bath accomplished the cleaning part of the process but with no enjoyment.

Then I became more desperate for more—I started asking more and more questions, started studying more and more books and the Bible. This is the phase of my bath life where I took others “vibrant hot filled lives “and poured them into my life. This is when I couldn’t get enough Beth Moore Studies, not enough books on God, self help books—you name it. Most of my vibrancy came from someone else’s experience. I seemed to “control” in one sense the temperature of my life by how much I poured in. If I stopped pouring in, I would almost immediately go back to my normal lukewarm life.

I think I had finally resigned myself to this being all there was for ME. Others could have the hotness but mine was going to have to be (mostly) artificially created.

Then my FATHER came. And, out of the blue, identified and removed the hindrance. The hindrance in my life centered on a desire to hold on to an offense, and not forgive, which lead to a root of bitterness.

Basically, I had allowed this sin pattern to become a way of life. It is amazing how easy it was for HIM to remove it—He knew right where it was hidden and how to correct the problem. What was also amazing is how quickly transformation of the heart can take place when the blockage is removed. The Holy Spirit was no longer constricted by my sin; it was free to FLOW.

I LOVE my bath time now. I have hot water that flows and flows and flows….thank you JESUS.

~ Wendy

1 comment:

  1. This is a wonderful testimony, Wendy. Your Father knew just what the problem was. And HE was able to fix it. Wonderful!

    Only problem for me? Now I'm jealous. I was just outside raking leaves and my back is crying out for a nice hot bath. But I only have a stand-up shower. No tub. And here I sit, looking at those words.


    Thanks a lot. *grin*