Heavy Duty

My washing machine has more features than my car!  I can do a second rinse, a soak, and a prewash.  I can do laundry for light, medium, or heavy soil levels, and I can wash it cold/cold, cold/warm, warm/warm, and hot/cold.  There’s a button on there that gives the clothes an extended spin.  I can select Normal, Delicate, Handwash, Jeans, or Heavy Duty.

Trouble is, I pretty much use one setting, all the time.  I always like our clothes washed in HOT water because I like the illusion of all the little germy germs getting washed away (although I know the heat from the dryer is good for that, too).  I don’t own anything delicate, our jeans get thrown in with the towels, and everything is pretty much Heavy Duty.

What’s the point of washing “Normal” when you can have “Heavy Duty?”  Who wants to dry their clothes on Air Dry when they can just hang them outside?  No, give me 85 minutes on High Heat anyday.

Most days I do sort out the darks from the lights; rarely do I have an entire load of whites, so they get thrown in with the lights.  I try to get through two loads of laundry a day just like I try to get in my quiet time every day.

And then when crisis comes, sometimes the two-loads-a-day gets thrown out the window.  It might be a little crisis, like a newsletter deadline.  Then I walk into the laundry room and grieve at the sight of a zillion loads of laundry piled on the floor, piled on top of the washer, and even in the sink.  It literally stretches from wall to wall.  Have you been there?

When that happens, I’ve found the best thing to do is to just get started without any expectation of being finished today.  I sort the clothes, start a load, and close the door.  Then in a little while I check back up on the progress, and, finding that load clean, I put it away and start another load.  Sock by sock, t-shirt by towel, finally I get to the bottom of the pile without losing more than three socks.  Success!

There are times when I ask the Lord to examine my heart that I really don’t like what I see.  Old issues and new ones, fears, materialistic greed and strongholds have piled up again from wall to wall in my heart.  And, like the real laundry room floor, the sight of all my shortcomings and sins grieves me.

With the state of my heart, I’m finding that the best thing to do is to just ask God to get started and to do my part without any expectation of being finished today.  It’s so nice to know that I am a work in progress and that God doesn’t have to worry about which button to push in my life to get me going.  He made me.  He stitched me together and knows all about how much hot water I can stand.  He knows when I need a cool, refreshing rinse, too.  Perhaps the best part of all about my Jesus is that because of him, I am already clean…even when I’m not.  When I get all grubby from my sinful old self, I just need to climb into his big old washing machine, confess, and then I emerge miraculously refreshed and clean.

But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.
1 John 1:9

Ah, to be cleansed from all wickedness!  To be freshly washed, wrapped up in a clean, toasty towel, sweet smelling and relaxed…

I set out to write this blog with nothing on my mind but the laundry.  Isn’t it cool what God does with our words?  All glory to you, my God, the God of this city, of this world, of this universe.  I praise you and lift up your name, for  you are mighty and able to save.  Thank you for the saving grace found in the blood of Jesus.  When our clothes get soiled with blood, we quickly wash them to remove the stain…but with your blood, we want it washing over us always and forever.  It turns our clothes white…it removes the red from us like bleach removes stains from our clothes.

Let us not just have a reputation for being ‘Christian’ in this world.  Let us BE Christians!

“I know all the things you do, and that you have a reputation for being alive—but you are dead. Wake up! Strengthen what little remains, for even what is left is almost dead. I find that your actions do not meet the requirements of my God. Go back to what you heard and believed at first; hold to it firmly. Repent and turn to me again. If you don’t wake up, I will come to you suddenly, as unexpected as a thief.
“Yet there are some in the church in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes with evil. They will walk with me in white, for they are worthy. All who are victorious will be clothed in white. I will never erase their names from the Book of Life, but I will announce before my Father and his angels that they are mine.
“Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches.
Revelation 3:1-6

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