You must understand this, my beloved: let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to become angry. James 1:19
Have you ever been in a sauna? I remember the tihe one time I went into a sauna, I felt like I was going to pass out. It was so hot and steamy in there I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I struggled to get comfortable and within seconds, I walked out. I just couldn’t understand how sitting in a sauna could be a relaxing experience. But what I didn’t realize was that if I had stuck it out a bit longer, even though it was an undesirable experience, I would have reaped the many health benefits that result from using a sauna.
This past week on my 30-day Tickle Challenge felt a lot like my experience in the sauna. On my Tickle Challenge Week 2 post, I had just lost my voice. I thought this week was going to be easier. After all, I lost my voice. That is almost a guarantee to be slow to speak. But actions speak louder than words…
I started the week sick which made me prone to being “quick to get upset.” Strike one.
I took “the bait” and was quick to speak in most conversations. Strike two.
I didn’t stop to listen much. Strike t.h.r…
…and then God stopped me in my tracks. “No strike three…you can do all things through Me. In your weakness, you are made strong.”
Honestly, I felt like throwing in the towel in the middle of my challenge. Why should I continue when I am back to square one? But what kept coming to mind is when we make a commitment to change something for good, we may experience some adverse affects before we see the FULL benefit. We see this with relationships, diets, exercise, school, work, sports, parenting, rehab, etc. We start off excited and motivated. Then we go through a rough patch. Things can get pretty rough before they get better. We can’t give up. We have to push though it to reap the benefits.
It is kind of like the sauna. Saunas purge toxins that are found in the deep layers of tissue. If I stuck it out through the uncomfortable part of my sauna experience, I could have reaped the benefits. So, as I am “sitting in the sauna” going through the detoxing and purging part of this James 1:19 challenge, I won’t walk out. I have to go through the hot steam and fire so the deep layers of my heart can be purified and refined through my Potter’s Hands.
He will sit like a refiner of silver, burning away the impurities. He will purify me, refining me like gold and silver, so that I may once again offer acceptable sacrifices to the Lord. Malachi 3:3
As I look forward to this upcoming week, I am excited to see what God will do in my life in the last week of my challenge. As he purges me and makes me whole, I stand with my arms wide open “Lord, purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow” Psalm 51:7. I want to get rid of the “old yeast” by removing the old ways in me so that I can be like a fresh batch of dough made without yeast, which is what I really am. Christ, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed for us (1 Corinthians 5:7).
This week, this Holy week leading to the JOYFUL celebration of the resurrection of our Lord, I am deeply humbled and so grateful for His sacrifice on the cross. Jesus, our Savior, suffered and died for our sins. Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” Luke 22:42. Sometimes, it may be hard for us to understand that He felt every ounce of the physical and emotional pain that he endured for our sins. When I think on this verse, I know that He understands everything we go through…EVERYTHING.
Are you going through the fire right now and wondering when it will end? Does it seem like no matter how hard you try, nothing ever changes? Do you feel alone, abandoned, or frustrated? Don’t give up. Reach out to Jesus, grab hold of His hand, and make Him Lord of your life. He is knocking on your door. All you have to do is open it and let Him in.
PRAYER: “Lord, I am sorry for my sins. Please forgive me. I believe that you died for my sins so that I may have eternal life. I want to be free. I want to experience your unconditional love. I want you to be Lord of my life. I accept you as my Lord and Savior. Please come into my heart and make me new. For in You, I am a new creation. AMEN!”
Have you been through a “detox” in your walk with Jesus? What did He reveal to you? What blessings were waiting for you at the end of the purging process? If you joined me on this challenge, how have things been going for you?