Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Soul Washer

How could a person of 34 years of age be so thrilled and tickled by the process of a fiberglass box swishing and swashing hot water onto items of eatery? Yes, my poor dishwasher has been out of commission for five months. I won’t tarnish anyone’s name but let’s say four months and three weeks were spent waiting on one repair man. Fortunately, I had a second one who was excellent in service, price, and timeliness. Praise the Lord. Isn’t there something beautiful about just having a task done and off the “to do” list?

So, I ran the dishwasher to clean the inside walls but thought I’d throw in a couple dishes and silverware. Okay…it was two spoons, one knife, one fork, two cups, one plate, one bowl but who’s counting? What an exhilarating and very weird feeling when I unloaded those few items. It was like getting a new toy at Christmas [for a kid of course, not me :-)]. It actually has been over a year of not using it since most of last summer I didn’t use the dishwasher as I was not eating or dirtying dishes. When I did start using dishes, it would take about three weeks to get a full load. In the last five months I've mostly eaten from paper plates; otherwise, I have to wash dishes by the piece to keep my sink empty while my house is on the market.

I have enjoyed hearing the clang of the utensil hitting the glass plate or bowl. That’s a beautiful sound. I have really enjoyed knowing I can dirty a dish, hide it in the dishwasher, and know it will be clean in about three weeks. Yes, this all may sound very crazy to those who make large meals daily for several people. Dishes must be a dreaded time of the day for those folks. Trust me, I was never a dish cleanin’ person and was blessed to have a husband who emptied the dishwasher every time.

I won't be making it a habit to run a less than full dishwasher because I'm way too conservative for that. (Waste not, want not.) However, isn’t it great that we can be put through God’s dishwasher whenever we need and as often as we need? God is willing and able to cleanse us at any point and as many times as we need. We don’t get just one washin’ at the time of our salvation. No, for most, it is a daily cleansing.

Oh, how I’m in need of a good cleaning. Negative thoughts. Pain. Regret. Worry. Confusion. Discontentment. Complaints. Envy.

Cleanse me oh Lord with Your pure blood. Change my heart. Change my focus. Change my desires. Change my outlook. Cleanse me. Purify me. Create in me a new heart. Yes, Lord.

One scripture that I wrote on my heart in the last months is Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:10 NIV says pure heart; whereas, NASB and ESV say clean heart. I love both the words clean and pure but to me, I don't see them as exact synonyms. Maybe I just hate to see my heart as impure but I know it is because though I know I am cleaned and forgiven of my sins, I will never be totally without sin. We will never be fully pure and clean this side of Heaven. Who can say, "I have kept my heart pure; I am clean and without sin"? Proverbs 20:9

Wash me.
Cleanse me.
Purify me.
Take from me, Lord, the junk that resides in my heart, mind, and life. Mold me and make me. You, Father, are the Potter and I am the clay...Your clay.

Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. Psalm 51:2

I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean. Ezekiel 36:25. I found this scripture in my search for this dishwasher piece. As I read this, I imagined myself, standing in front of my dishwasher, turning the switch, and saying to the dishes in my fiberglass box: "I will sprinkle clean water on you and you will be clean." :-) That reminds me of the shows "I Dream of Jeanie" and "Bewitched". Snap and be done.

Be clean you old dirty dishes says Paula.

Be clean you old dirty Paula says the Lord.

Unfortunately, a lot of our dirtiness is not something that is changed over night. Yes, our Almighty God has the power to snap His fingers and cleanse us from worry, pain, envy, bad attitudes or whatever it may be. However, though His power is great, we are still human and most of the time it requires the Lord teaching us how to live without discontentment, worry, negativeness, lies, regret, shame or envy.

As thankful as I am for my repaired dishwasher, I would trade it and wash my dishes by hand for the rest of my life as long as Jesus keeps on washin’ me. I’d trade my fiberglass box any day and sign up for dishpan hands just for one cleansing of the Lord. That’s how precious and powerful the Lord is. We cannot live on this earth without His presence that gives not only comfort, love, peace and all those warm securities but also the refreshing but painful cleansing. I know for the Lord to cleanse me of the things I find dirty, it incurs pain of purifying and discipline. However, all purifying experiences bring us closer to the character of Christ. How awesome is that. Is there anything better? ...No.

Do you need to be ran though the Soul Washer either on short cycle, full cycle, or rinse only? Is there something in your heart, mind, or life that needs to swished and swashed by the Lord's blood? Tell the Lord you need a good washin' and He'll cleanse you over and over. You will never be fully cleaned and not in need of God's cleansing power. It doesn't end at the salvation experience but rather it ends when we see Jesus face to face in glorious Heaven. Only then will we be made perfect, clean, and pure.

Being Cleansed By the Soul Washer,

(The picture is of my Rose of Sharon tree.)


Kristen said...

Oh how I loved this post! I would trade my dishwasher too for Jesus to keep washing me and believe me -I love my dishwasher!!! I love that now, each time I load it, run the wash cycle and unload, I can think of God washing me clean - as white as snow, as sparkly and shinier than any spoon or glass!

skoots1mom said...

Eternally clean...just imagine! WoW!

From the Heart said...

I know I haven't commented very much on your posts, but the one you wrote today really bothers me. It's a great post. I cannot say that I have always been a "spiritual" Christian. To me it has been a growing process and I've learned more about faith in God since a fifth surgery on my neck in 1999.
God has spared my life twice, once in 1999 and again in 2007 after back surgery. I have always been a worrier (sp) but I don't feel that is a sin. The founding pastor of the church we have attended since 1978 told us one time that satan can put thoughts in your mind but he cannot read your mind. The things you were saying in your post I feel are thoughts that satan is putting in your mind and in order to get rid of those thoughts you have to pray out loud so he can hear you. Read my post on Reach Out and Touch. I am learning to refuse the thoughts that come into my mind and as Jesus told us, tell satan he has to leave you alone in the name of Jesus. You are covered by the blood of Jesus and he cannot cross that blood line. It has worked for me. I refuse to accept anything he tries to put on me, he does not have authority over my body, my mind, nor my heart. I hope I'm coming across as a sister who loves you and not sounding like a know it all. I don't know it all, but if you take one day at a time, don't worry about tomorrow, like worrying yesterday is today. When Jesus accepted us as His children He wiped our slate clean, never to be remembered again. God loves you so much, don't let satan beat you up with thoughts that are not true. Jesus is our rock, our salvation and we don't lose that unless we turn away from Him. If I've offended you in anyway please forgive me. It just bothers me to see a christian being run over by the enemy. You are a good person and you write a whole lot better than I do, but I truly believe God wanted me to tell you these things.

There have been times that I had to ask the Lord to create a clean heart in me, I'm not perfect, but we are saved by grace and God will fight our battles for us if we will just commit them to Him.

In the post I told you about is part of a devotion by Ruth Bell Graham entitled "Commit to God" and I've listed the scriptures and things that she said we should commit.
You are precious in His sight,

andi said...

Preaching the Gospel to ourselves daily-keeps us where we are: in the shadow of the cross!

On Purpose said...

What a great post! I have a great visual now of stepping inside His great big dishwasher and having Him hose me down...hehe!

I love your thoughts and writings on Beth Moore, she does some great work for the Lord!

Renee Swope said...

Hi Paula,

I am so sorry I haven't had a chance to visit again and write you back. Your email got archived and I couldn't find it so I could reply. It touched my heart so much when I first received it.

I hope you are doing well! It's been a bit crazy at our place getting caught up at home and at work now that the kids are back in school. I hope to have time soon to stroll down bloggy lane and I'll be back to visit.

Hugs and blessings!

Mary said...

Psalm 51:7 says;
Wash me, and I will be whiter than snow."
Aren't you glad that the blood of Jesus can cleanse from every stain?

While I was reading your post a song came to my mind that I haven't thought about in a very long time.

Let your love flow through me
Let your love flow through me
Make me a blessing, Lord, whereever I may be
Keep me pure, keep me clean,
So that you might be seen
Let your love, let your love flow through me.

I love that song!

The flowers are beautiful! I continue to enjoy the different flowers on every post.


Anonymous said...

It's funny, but it's not, how we take things for granted and don't really appreciate them until we don't have them. Things like when the power goes out, there's no hot water, our oven breaks down. When these things happen, I often wonder what life was like for folks back then...One day, our children, great grandchildren, will be wondering the same things about us. I'm convinced they'll have something that will not only wash the dishes BUT put them away properly too. Imagine that!

Amy said...

~Be clean you old dirty dishes says Paula.

Be clean you old dirty Paula says the Lord.~

Those words made me smile.:)
And as you already know, I am very visual learner, so this post was right up my alley.

It's funny, I just turned my dishwasher on only a moment before coming to this post....It's like God is saying to me....

"Be clean you old dirty, Amy!";)

God Bless,

Sharon said...

Wow, what a fantastic example... And how I have been asking the Lord to help cleanse my soul, help purife my heart. Wash me clean inside and out, I want to have that sparkle look, shine like he shines. I don't want any spots.
But I know I cannot remove every spot, but I can sure try.
God Bless you my friend
great post

much2ponder said...

Seems we are on similar paths, at least we are headed in the same direction:) The Bible refers to us as saints, though we still sin and and are imperfect, we are already washed clean by the blood of the lamb, but it is important to note the things in us that need changing. We need to allow the Love of the Lord to reach our hearts in our current earthly condition. I hope you are feeling the eternal love of the Father as I am praying that over you today.

Now every time I fill or empty my dishwasher, I will remember you and your post so that will be the perfect time for me to remember you in my prayers. Bless you my friend. You are loved.

valerie said...

Great post Paula!

I'm so glad Jesus washes us clean...white as snow.

I'm also glad you got your dishwasher fixed. ;)

Funny, I hate emptying the dishwasher. I don't mind filling it and boy can I cram a lot in there, but emptying it....I just hate it.

I'm praying for you Paula. I love the verse and love the song "Create in me a clean heart Oh God...." My prayer is that you, I and all others reading this will not just read the Word, but apply His truths. He is for us and not against us & nothing is too hard for our God.

Love & blessings,

Tonja said...

Oh yes, I need a good cleansing every day! Funny how litle things can creep in and get you 'dirty', isn't it!

Thanks for these reassuring words! We can easily step into that great big dishwasher, and stand under the 'water of life' and get squeaky clean!

Grea visual!

Joanne said...

I feel like I need a good soul washing more than my pride wants me to pride needs a washing away too! I am so thankful that He continues to make me clean.

I am so grateful for that.

Runner Mom said...

I will never look at my dishwasher in the same light again!! Thanks so much for your post!! Loved this!

Please hop over to my Sunday blog when you get a chance, sweet girl!

HIS Daughter said...

Hey Sweet Paula,

I loved your post and so many times I can identify with that feeling...and also the feeling of being tormented or accused.

A wonderful pastor pointed this out and I had never seen it this way before..Ephesians 2:6 - Paul under the inspiration is saying that we are seated in the heavely realms with Christ Jesus..not later..because GOD made time..he doesn't live in time as we do.

He simply knows the beginning and the end of all things and right now as a believer and lover of the LORD, you are already seated with HIM. HE knows that...and Satan knows the only thing HE can do is try to torment you.

HIS plans for you will be to glorify Him and when we are submitted to HIS love and HIS plans...we need not worry. HE will accomplish and finish that good work in you that HE started.

Love and blessings

Bonnelle Pagel said...

Hi Paula,

I'm coming over from my friend Tammy's blog. I've noticed your name many times when I've read her blog & others.

You are hereby washed clean by the blood of the Lamb. He has not placed you on a shelf to be hidden away but He uses you for His glory. You sparkle & shine for Him and don't doubt that He loves you and cares for you as His special treasure.

Keep writing, keep blogging and most importantly, keep seeking His face.


annette said...

Wonderful post sister. I pray your house sells soon!

Regina said...

Hey Paula, I found you from Lynn's blog (Somewhere in the Middle). I left a comment to your comment on her last post and just wanted to let you know so you could go and check it out.

I loved this post! My mother in law uses her dishwasher as a dish drainer. Yes! She washes them by hand and then stacks them in the dishwasher to dry. I don't get it at all.

I am so glad that our Lord cleans us from the inside-out! He's a good God-all the time.

Would you mind if I added you to my blog list?

LynnSC said...

Paula, my dear friend,

This is a great post. I can so identify with you on this. I know what exactly what you mean...

"Oh, how I’m in need of a good cleaning. Negative thoughts. Pain. Regret. Worry. Confusion. Discontentment. Complaints. Envy."

Such "small" things to the world mean a world of difference in our walk with the Lord. Many don't understand... To have a pure heart before the Lord, this is what I want as well.

Clean me up too, dear Lord,

Anonymous said...

RYC: How cool is that? I wouldn't think of you as having failed, I think that was an awesome association. Set your alarm for 6:33 tomorrow morning and try again. :)

Melanie said...

Paula, This is such a great post! Oh, yes, I do need to be washed daily by the Lord... I'm so thankful He's willing to keep on coming and washin' me over and over again.

Have a great week!

Jenn @ Casa de Castro said...

Suddenly I feel the need to dust, to vacuum, to scrub the floors... to be clean! ;)

GREAT post, Paula. It spoke to my heart. Thank you.

Laura said...

this sweet post made me smile so many times! I hear your heart in this one, friend! I'm so glad that I am cleansed by the blood of Jesus!! And I'm glad your dishwasher is fixed too! (I have to say, going a full year without mine would send me to the funny farm.)
I hope you are doing well. I haven't been doing very well keeping in starting has wrecked my schedule! but I hope to get back into a routine soon.
Sending you oodles of love,

From the Heart said...

Paula, Please come to my blog, I have an award for you.

GOD'S LADIE said...

Oh the blood of JESUS! How I love that song! This post brings this song to remembrance. It has been JESUS' blood that has healed me and washed me over and over again. "What can wash away my sins? Nothing but the blood of JESUS...Oh precious is thou blood, that makes me white as snow..." (singing while typing :)

Be blessed. Love ya and love the post!

Laurel Wreath said...


I can so relate to this post, I was without a dishwasher for almost a month. I thought, "how spoiled I am to be suffering so much without a dishwasher!" But it was sure nice when it was fixed.

Loved your application. Thanks so much for stopping by and entering my giveaway. You have a beautiful blog here.


2nd Cup of Coffee said...

Just this morning I was run through the "Soul Wash."

Laura said...

I'm checking in on you! I hope everything is going ok in your life. Thinking of you, friend.