Have you ever driven through one of those intense car washes? They start by manually washing off the windshield and side windows with a brush. Then the car gets pulled through the wash on the conveyor track while huge sponge-like fingers slide over every nook and cranny. Colored bubbles, sprayers and cloth wheels continue the cleaning process. The end result is a car that is totally and thoroughly clean!
Last weekend I had the blessing of attending the Ladies Prayer Advance in Roanoke, VA. It’s a three day event focused on the Word of God and times of prayer. I came out of the weekend feeling like one of those cars that had gone through that intense car wash. There truly was no area of my life unchecked. The Lord brought the searchlight of His Word to Revive, refresh and restore me. I came away feeling so clean.
I also came away with one word as a take away – Rejoice.
That word came as a result of many different teaching/preaching sessions. Here’s how that word is working its way into my life as I’ve come home.
I’m to rejoice in my circumstances – As I mentioned recently, I’ve been experiencing a trial for quite some time. It’s been heartbreaking, but I can also see that God is working in my life as a result. I must choose to rejoice and give God glory rather than bemoan my situation. He is using this to draw me to Himself. That alone is reason to rejoice!
Rejoice through forgiveness – The Lord taught me how I can give forgiveness in the midst of my trial. I’ve struggled with this because I’ve felt that I’ve given it all to Him only to turn around in a day or so with thoughts of my trial swirling in my thoughts and heart like a spring twister. Ugh. I’d wonder how that bitter thought got back into my heart. Then I heard this illustration that made it absolutely clear.
Corrie Ten Boom, a prisoner in the Nazi Concentration Camps, had tried and failed to forgive those that had mistreated her and her sister Betsy. Coming to a pastor at a church with the question about how she could forgive, he took her to the bell tower of the church. He gave a tug on the rope and the bells clanged loudly.
“Each time you rehearse an evil action or cruel word spoken against you, you are ringing the bell, causing unforgiveness to remain in your heart. What you must do is let go of the rope.
Suddenly I saw myself with my hands tightly gripped around that rope of those bells as I rehearse or repeat the misjudgments, or evil deeds done. Clang, Clang, Clang. The bell of unforgiveness begins to ring loudly in my heart.
But now when those thoughts come racing in, or the words start to form on my lips, I make a choice to let go of the rope. How freeing it is to live this way!
Lastly, I’m also applying rejoicing to my speech. The weight of my critical words have profound effect on myself and those around me. How much better it would be if I found things to praise God for, rather than complaining about life’s irritants! Yes, the car that darted in front of me, the slow person at the check out desk, the hateful person who took my phone call can be turned into times of praise instead of criticism or complaint. It takes intentionality to overlook the negative and be thankful for the blessings. This is a lesson I seem to have to learn and re-learn over and over again!
I’m so glad I took the time and effort to go to Ladies’
Car Wash Prayer Advance! It’s sure great to be clean!
Is there an area of your life that could use a good scrubbing? A point of spiritual defeat? A sin that is on repeat? You don’t need a weekend away to get it right. Do it now, then you, too can rejoice.
Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice. Philippians 4:4