I'm about the get down-right allegorical, people, so stretch your minds with me, if you've had enough coffee to allow for such a thing.
I had a moment of startling clarity, a gasp-out-loud realization, just a few minutes ago. It's been part of a word from the Lord, pinging around in my head, for over a week now, and this morning during my prayer time...I suddenly understood. And so I must share it.
It all began with a flood.
Not THE flood. A flood in my bathroom. A significant leak in our master shower that we didn't know we had, discovered after it had been leaking for many days. Then came the demolition men, with crowbars and hammers, and the water restoration experts with their giant fans, the insurance adjuster with his calculator and tape measure, and the rebuild contractors with their clipboards and counter top samples.
In the middle of all of that, we are sharing bathroom space with our three sons, (gross, gross gross)(There's no amount of cleaning that bathroom that prepares me for actually having to shower in it every day.) and starting tomorrow we will be sharing closet space with the overflow closet upstairs (which our daughter has already begun to lay claim to, so she's going to have to adjust as well.)
There's nothing but sub floor and exposed pipes in my bathroom and closet right now. We have drawn up how we want it all to look when its put back together, we have picked out new tile and vanities and light fixtures...but at the moment, there is nothing except the bones of a room, with drywall and sub floor cut out, revealing how much damage the water did to the surrounding area.
Water invaded my home, quite literally. It moved outside the area designated to it, and saturated the carpet and the walls and the tile and the insulation and the sub floor and the joists. And if it had been even longer before we discovered it, the damage would've spread further.
This week the Lord has been talking to me about allowing Him access to all of my life and heart, not just the obvious places, or the ones that feel comfortable and safe. I've been pushing back, because I'm stubborn.
"Lord...You're nit-picking now. All of this that You've already asked and done...can't I just be here, like this? Isn't it far enough?"
And He has been kind, and a gentleman, as He always is.
"I will invade every place you will allow me to."
It's my choice. He will not force me to be obedient. He will not demand cooperation with His Spirit. I have to say 'Yes.'
I was thinking about that word this morning: INVADE.
And I was thinking about how my home was invaded by destructive water.
And the light bulb went off inside me.
The Lord is asking me to allow Him to saturate every part of my heart and life. The Holy Spirit doesn't want to stay in the area designated for Him. He wants to seep out, into the surrounding rooms, and cause...yes...chaos.
Because the truth is, there are some walls in my allegorical bathroom that need to be moved. Some carpet that is old and stained and needs replacing anyway. Some tile that is dated and really should be busted up and thrown out. There are things in my house that I've grown accustomed to, and learned to live with, that the Lord wants to DESTROY WITH WATER, so that He can rip them out and start fresh.
Oh boy, I hope you're hearing what I'm saying.
Its terrifying, this idea that the water has seeped more places and may cause more damage. The experts have checked and assure me everything is now dry and contained, but still I bite my lip, listening for a leak in other rooms of the house, wondering where the water is trying to get out of its pipes and soak into places it doesn't belong.
And now I'm actually giggling, as this metaphor takes shape inside me. How often do I do that with the Lord? Worry that He will ask me to do something WAY outside the bounds of what is safe and contained, destructive to my comfortable way of life, leaving me displaced and gutted.
I have even apologized for Him. "I know this is hard, but it'll all be put back to normal soon."
WHY??? Why do I want that? My bathroom was old and NEEDED to be gutted. So too with so many things in my heart.
Why do we cling so hard to things the way they are, and refuse to allow the destructive flood of the Holy Spirit to saturate, break down, and, yes, sometimes GUT our hearts? It's painful and terrifying, that's why. If we give Him access, if we tell the Water to invade wherever...who knows what walls will have to be torn down, or what fears will have to be addressed, or what habits and beliefs or lifestyle comforts will be called into question. Before we know it, the whole structure of our lives will be being re-framed, and we won't recognize it as the same house at all.
But DANG my bathroom will be beautiful once its rebuilt. All the things I had accepted and learned to live with can now become things I actually like, and chose, and am happy with.
So, the invasion of water that caused destruction and upheaval and discomfort and is STILL causing those things for at least a month...will eventually be a giant blessing.
Seriously. I'm laughing. Because I have a literal parable in my house, speaking to me of what the Lord wants to do in my heart, and in yours, and in all of us.
He wants to INVADE. Every place, all of us. Nothing is off limits to Him, if we say yes. And often it will be painful, and uncomfortable, and even destructive to our way of life.
But ALWAYS it will be better on the other side.
The Water is waiting. Will you let Him invade?