Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Growing Pains

I have a little dog-a schnoodle named Buckles. Like every other dog you know, he likes to eat, play, and snuggle. :)

But he also needs to be washed-one of his least favorite things to do.

And it has to be done or else we'd have a dirty dog running around the house.

So after weeks and weeks of me and Dad having a Mexican standoff of who was going to...nay, who was willing to get wet (hey, every dog shakes when their heads get wet and this one is no exception!) and take ten minutes out of their day to do it this time, I gave in and volunteered to do it (even though I beat Dad fair and square in a 3/5 game of Rock, Paper, Scissors.)

But when I'm cleaning house (or in this case, the dog), my mind is quiet. And what happens when your mind is quiet?

You can hear from God!

So while I'm bathing this dog, who hasn't been bathed in weeks, I notice that he isn't really all that happy with me. Like I said, the dog hates baths.

But I was doing him a benefit by cleaning him up, right?

Absolutely! You see, when I was cleaning him up, I was helping him get rid of the pollen, dirt, grime, and the substances-of-unknown-origin out of his fur, paws and tummy.

And while I was scrubbing him with the cherry-blossom scented shampoo, it hit me.

This is how God is with us.

He wants to help us "clean up" the sin, guilt, and shortcomings in our lives (or in Buck's case, the dirt, pollen, and so forth), so that we can grow spiritually, but we have to be willing to give Him control of our lives, just like Buckles had to give control to me. And in the end, he was a clean doggy!

It's not always gonna be easy to surrender your "favorite sin". Just like Buckles would rather stay dirty than get wet and soapy, we, at times don't like getting corrected. We'd rather just think that we're the perfect Christian with no flaws whatsoever But in the end, the correction (or washin') that we receive from listening to the Holy Spirit, reading the Bible, and fellowshiping with other believers is totally worth the effort, since we are becoming more and more like the Master everyday. Discipline and correction are the way to life, according to Proverbs 6:23. It even compares discipline to a lamp, and teachings to a light, that guide our way through life!

To sum things up, I would like to share another Scripture from Proverbs concerning these things.

He who heeds discipline shows the way to life, but whoever ignores correction leads others astray.

There you have it! This is one of the many reasons we need to give God control of our lives and let Him clean us up!

Praise the LORD for revelations!

And praise the LORD for scented shampoo!