For days I have sanded cabinets, primed, and painted. Yesterday I finally finished prepping the walls and ceiling and began the arduous task of painting the room. By the time I am ready to clean my equipment and brushes, typically in the middle of the night, I am utterly exhausted. You know how projects go.
If a quality paintbrush is not cleaned properly, it dries stiff and hard and becomes useless. It takes time to clean it properly. A thorough cleaning requires copious amounts of running water— a stagnant bucket of water will not do. A painter then uses a dual-sided tool; a metal, sharp-pronged comb on one side, paired with a metal brush similar to a barbecue grill brush on the other side.
I use the metal brush to repetitively scratch the exterior of the paintbrush’s ferrule stroking down the bristles under a running sink facet until the brush looks clean. But a mere squeeze reveals my brush is still full of paint! The efficient way to rid the brush of the paint is to use the sharp prongs of the metal comb to pierce the brush starting at the heel, splaying the bristles, and raking repetitively through the belly and toe of the brush, all the while under the gushing spigot. This method exposes the interior bristles to the cleansing flow until the brush is squeezed and the emerging water runs clear. Last night while rinsing my brushes, I accidentally pierced my finger with the sharp prongs of the cleaning comb, commingling my blood with the freshly flowing water and fading paint.
Can you see where I am going with this description? We can be raked and pierced by life’s assaults all day long and not benefit in the slightest. But God has a divine purpose behind the hardships we face in this life. With the spigot running continuously, He restores us during the transformation process if we position ourselves in Him.
"I cannot have a new room without enduring the chaos and the cleaning."
My life and yours too require copious amounts of free-flowing Water, running constantly, to cleanse the compacted strands of our life stories — both the washing of the water of the Word and abiding in the Spirit immersed in the River of Life. A bucket of water captured in a quick morning devotion will just not suffice. The flow of His presence must be constant. The more Water, the better!
And it takes a good piercing under that flow to expose what is hidden. Prayers to abort the process do not yield a life usable in the hands of the Master Painter. Instead, apply more Water and benefit fully from the raking, embracing God's divine purpose and provision. Visualize the brush with each squeeze of the bristles in your Master's hand!
Drawing blood last night created in my mind’s eye what really has to happen. It is the piercing of Jesus Christ, His blood, His cleansing flow applied to my life that leaves me restored, supple for use. And the bathroom? It is still a work in progress, but it is coming along beautifully!