In 2008 there was a massive flood in Iowa. Hundreds of historic homes were ruined and hundreds of families were without a place to live. Me and four friends rented a car and drove the 19 hour trip up to spend a week working with Samaritans Purse disaster relief efforts. The main thing we did that week was gut houses- ripping out everything but the basic structure and then bleaching it to kill mold. We had to wear masks, gloves, tyvec suits and the whole spread to protect ourselves from the mold that had so quickly set in.
We learned that when a house floods, mold begins to infest. The woodwork, the floor, carpets, posessions…EVERYTHING has to be ripped out and thrown away except the basic structure and then even that has to be bleached. If even one bit of mold is left, then it will spread and eventually contaminate the whole thing again.
While working on our house that week, one of our project leaders was trying to convince the home owner that we had to take out the bathtub, the sink, and the toilet. The home owner wanted to keep them. They tried to explain to him that if he kept them he would be exposing not only himself but everyone else to mold every time they came to his house. They tried to explain that even though you couldn’t see it, there was mold residing in these things and slowly, over time, the mold would spread and infest the rest of the house again.
I will never forget this quote…
“Mold isn’t content to just live under the toilet, mold isn’t content until it has infected your lungs, and then it begins to choke you.”
Picture Jesus…all geared up in a Tyvec suit…respirator mask on…heavy duty gloves…rubber boots…ready to come in and gut us out, purify our moldy inner lives. Some call this process sanctification but the visual of gutting out a moldy house just hits me so much harder. Think about it. He comes in and pulls out the carpet…we let him hammer out the sheet rock walls. He’s shovelling up piles of dust and gravel. He pulls up the floors and scoops out bucket after bucket of bacteria infested mud…things are shaping up, we’ve come a long way, but when it comes to the toilet we tell him he can’t have it, we tell him we want to keep it.
Grasp the analogy?
Mold isn’t content to just stay in one little corner, and sin isn’t either.
We may be a Christian, we may have been purified by the blood of Jesus, but this process of gutting out, this process of sanctification, is a continual process of Him moving in just a little bit deeper and getting rid of some more junk.
Just when we think we’re good and everything is spiffy and nice, Jesus calls to our attention that we’re hanging on to the toilet.
You see, we can surrender almost everything and obey for the first one hundred times He tells us something, but if we don’t let Him get into all the little corners and clean us out- if we try to hold on to one little thing that He asks us to surrender-then the darkness in our hearts will begin to fester, and spread, and infect. Sin isn’t content until it has infected your whole heart, and then it slowly begins to choke you.
Maybe there are some things you are holding onto…some things that you just havent let Jesus clean up yet. Maybe it’s an outright sin, but maybe it’s not. Maybe it’s a fear that you’ve been too scared to confront. Maybe it’s a very old wound that is just too painful to let Him touch so you keep it covered up in the dark. Maybe it’s an insecurity that you don’t trust Him to overcome. Maybe it’s a lie that you bought into years ago that has slowly infected the rest of your heart till you just can’t breath. Maybe it’s a relationship that has been broken for so long it’s just easier to cover it up- like putting a new shower curtain in a bathroom full of mold…We tend to think ‘Oh it’s just this one thing, it’s not affecting me that much.’ And He is repeatedly whispering to us- ‘let me at it, it’s got to go’. If we don’t let Him take it, it will slowly grip onto us and choke us to death.
Today is the day to let Him in and let Him do His thing. He’s standing there ready with bleach in hand…let go of that toilet…let go of that bathtub…let Him all the way in.
What ‘toilets’ are you hanging on to? Do they take the form of fear, hurt, sin, shame, insecurity?
If you need to talk or need encouragement you can message me at BeckWattier@gmail.com or text my cell at anytime 251-518-3021