At the kitchen sink with a pile full of dishes, and there's the sponge. It's full of God-knows-what kind of food germs hiding in it's holes and it's shrivelled from dry-ness. You know the type, after you use them a few times they don't go back to their original form.
This is how I feel tonight as I begin a new book on Hebrews. I feel dry. Spent. Taken for all I've got. And as I pause half-way through the first page to pray, I ask for God to fill me. The way a dry sponge comes to life when it's run under water, I want to be filled with His living water.
I want to be so full of Him that when someone bumps into me, He squirts out. Not the sponge that's damp and needs a lot of squeezing to get a drop, but a brimming sponge that spews out love and grace at the slightest tap.
As I prayed this phrase "like a sponge" I immediately thought of the sweet, almost-two-year-old living upstairs. Boy, does she soak up e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. Every word and phrase. We can't understand all her words yet, but she knows just what's going on when we're talking to and around her. Her little brain is really soaking it all in.
Then it hit me.
Then He said, "I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 18:3 (NLT)
I realized that I'm right where God wants me. Spent. Empty. Full of nasty-ness hiding in the crevices of my heart. Dry like an overworked sponge.
And the water is flowing. It's never stopped. His living water is right in front of me and He's waiting for me to jump into the deep end and let myself be filled up. Like a sponge. Like a child. Eager and willing to learn everything He has to teach me. Ready to soak up more love and more grace so that I can overflow with it. So that He can ooze out of me and I can be Jesus to those around me, and--soon--to those people in Scotland who know so little about His grace.
My challenge to you tonight is to check in on the status of your sponge. Are you dry? Damp? Full? If you're full, what are you full with, is it Jesus or something/someone else? Do you need to dip yourself into His living water for the first time? If you're dry, have you strayed from His waterfall completely or are you spent from doing more and resting less? Have you been wearing blinders to the gunk in your own heart? He is not waiting for to you to clean yourself, He will gently do that for you.
Wherever you are, tell Him. Be honest. Be vulnerable. Be genuine. Let this be a single step that you take toward God. He's closer than you think.