Gustavo, my building maintenance man, is the bomb dot com. I excitedly wave to him as I peel into my parking garage; he tips his hat and gives me a double thumbs-up. I call the office and say “I may have spilled a bottle of nail polish on the carpet”, he hustles over within a few minutes and works his magic. I wink, slipping him a few freshly baked cookies just to keep my priority status. If I need my garbage disposal unjammed, he’ll take out my recycling while he is at it, coyly lingering as I send him off with an Arnold Palmer in a to-go cup.
However, he quickly loses his hustle when it comes to “snake the drain in #483”, a request I place often enough to know his M.O. Days go by – weeks even. There is nothing that he loathes more than pulling hair out of my bathtub pipe. All of this to say, I’m not sure if I’m getting worked over or if he actually is “visiting family in Italy for the foreseeable future” but either way, I was told that my work order did not constitute an emergency repair and therefore, I would have to wait until he returned.
I could not stomach the thought of standing in dirty water up to my calves for even one more shower. “Oh, but this is an emergency! What should I do?! Let my hair dread?!” Cue theatrical dry heave.
“Lowe’s plumbing department should have what you need.”
Gustavo, you son of a gun.
If you give a blonde a simple household task, she will probably find it hilarious. And if she finds it hilarious, she will probably film and photograph the entire adventure. I believe the following collage summarizes my plumbing debut:
Here I am: in my tub, fully clothed, dealing with the filth between me and the very point of a shower: being clean.
What an illustration to parallel my current study, challenging me to deal with filth keeping me from the very point of the Christian life: living in the intimate presence of the Lord.
While eternity is already settled for those who have embraced Christ through faith, it doesn’t mean Satan is not “privy to wreak havoc on prideful, indecisive, earthly lives un-yielded to Christ.” Though we would all love to hang tight to the promise that God “will never leave me nor forsake me”, God also does not force Himself on us and therefore, is not with everyone.
Scripture says God is not with the proud. He is not with the worldly, the rebellious. He is not with those who harbor sin or with the “double-minded”. James says that we will not experience His presence if we doubt. In other words, if I’m not in intimate relationship with God, my drain may be clogged with any of the above.
Psalms 66:18 and 1 John 3:21 say that when we harbor sin, the Lord will only hear our prayer on that matter. “If you tolerate sin, you’re choosing to render your prayer life worthless.” We will not be heard until that thing is dealt with. For example, if I won’t confess my unforgiveness and I come to God, He says “Hey, Meg! You came to talk about your unforgiveness? No? You wanna hang onto that for awhile longer? Well, I’m not speaking with you regarding anything else until you are ready to deal with that.”
How many prayers of mine have gone unheard? What if my pipe is currently clogged because of my own pride? I wonder how long I’ve stood in a filthy shower because I don’t even know what a clean one feels like anymore, letting a single clogged hair dictate years of grimy tub. When I fail to submit to God, I’m saying: I don’t trust You. Your promises aren’t true. God, you aren’t better than what I’m holding onto. With that belief, inevitably I’ll find myself standing in a filling tub, splashing around in filthy peripheral decisions that ruin me.
We’re given the snake for the drain: Humility before God. Submission. Come near to God…and He will come near to you.
With a yielded, humble heart, the promise that “He will never leave nor forsake” is ours to cling to. The pipe is clear! The plumbing is new! And like rushing water, we can put our weight on the Yes and Amen of all of His promises…
- Nothing is hidden from His sight. God knows everything about your exact situation.
- He is always looking out for your ultimate good and takes your hurts personally – He is not standing there with his arms folded.
- He knows exactly how to work terrible into good, incapable of abusing His divine authority over you.
- He loves you completely and unconditionally.
- He knows the well-thought out plan for your life and how all things must fall into place for you to fulfill your destiny.
- He will never put to shame those who trust in him.
God, I need to be near you! I can’t be without you. I have to have your clean water, your intimate presence. Lord, help us live in the freedom of knowing that You are with us. We bow in humility, drawing near to You with nothing interfering.** This is what I’ve learned from Mercy Triumphs (the bullets are snaked from B. Moore) and from Always True by James MacDonald **