In a recent sermon I heard by Dr. Tony Evans, he used an illustration of the Christian as a sponge. He said (and I’m paraphrasing from my unreliable memory) that when you squeeze a sponge what comes out is what has been stored on the inside. So when you are put in a pressure situation, what comes out of you in the process is exactly what has been hidden within. That analogy has stayed with me, and sadly, hit home in a big way over the last few days.
I’ve been under a lot of little pressures building layer upon layer, and have felt them rumbling and bubbling and churning inside me like molten sewage, furious to erupt. The more I felt squeezed, the higher it rose in my chest, and within the last week I have watched it gush out in muddy sludge, spewing negativity, eye-rolling putrid attitudes and a sickening 3-V vocabulary (vicious, vitriolic and venomous). I have been ugly and sinful, embarrassed at the sloppy slurry of slime that is being squeezed out of me… ashamed and disappointed in myself that I am not who I had hoped I was at this point in my walk with the Lord. This is not to say that I have to be little Miss Barbie Perfect 24/7/365, but I have so not been the example of Christ, and this above all is what saddens me. Out of the abundance of my heart the mouth speaks, and the abundance in this heart has NOT been the treasure trove of that which is true, honorable, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent or praiseworthy. The quiet and gentle spirit which I seek to cultivate and nurture has morphed into a spirit of grumbling, screeching, discontent from one hot mess of a person I do not like or wish to be around. I have gone from the proverbial Dr. Jeckyl to Mrs. HIDE!!!
So today, on this first day of Lent, it is time to start again. I seek forgiveness for my words/attitude, from both Christ my Lord and those who have been caught in the shrapnel. I humbly learn the lesson that my maturity level needs serious work, and ask the Lord to squeeze until every drop of me is gone, that I might then absorb His Living Water and be filled to a juicy, dripping overflow of His Holy Spirit.
Philippians 4:8 -- Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely,whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthyof praise, dwell on these things.