My husband and I love to hold hands. We have a certain way we fit as our fingers lace together. Walking in a parking lot, a store, even in bed while watching TV. We're hand holders.
Sometimes, his hands feel overly rough, especially in the valleys of his fingers. He uses lotion each night to smooth them.
We have a running joke; when his hands are rough I'll say, "You've been unfaithful."
We'll laugh about it.
But I can tell. He can't hide it. Not for long. It builds. Worsens.
And that is exactly what can happen in your spiritual life. It starts when you're in a valley. At your lowest point. In Winter. When things seem upside down, uncertainty is your middle name. You lay off the lotion--the Word of God. You ignore the healing balm to heal wounds.
"From the sole of the foot even to the head, There is no soundness in it, But wounds and bruises and putrefying sores; They have not been closed or bound up, Or soothed with ointment." Isaiah 1:6
Unfaithful to prayer.
Unfaithful to the Word.
Unfaithful to actions becoming a bride of Christ.
It happens over time. A slow fade--like Casting Crowns sing about.
And sometimes, it happens when things are wonderful. When you're soaring over accomplishments, when you're ministry is growing and thriving, your family is pulling it together, prayers are being answered in a tangible way.
You sleep in a little later, because God's got it all under control. You celebrate by focusing on your goal and leaving the One who gave it to You on the coffee table, the night stand, the kitchen counter. After all, you need to push through--push harder--get things done so you can soar over the next mountainous goal.
Tiny cracks form in your skin. Barely noticeable as you make plans and plunge toward the next step in your life--in your purpose. The one God gave you.
The cracks widen, harden, build up. And one day you're exhausted. Worn slap out. You've opened up opportunity for the enemy to slip in with temptations you'd been guarding in the valleys--but hey--you were on the mountain! Nothing bad happens on the mountain tops. You can skip early morning with God alone, because He's in what you've woken up early to do. He's given you this ministry you're working on. That counts, right?
Doing something for God's glory doesn't replace spending time in God's glory.
"...the priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud; for the glory of the LORD filled the house of God." 2 Chronicles 5:14
Sometimes, you need to stop ministering and let His glory fill your temple.
Dried up skin bleeds when it's cracked. It stings. It opens up areas of disease to seep in. Inflammation and sickness can form before you're even aware.
And all you needed was a daily dose of lotion to lather on and stay smooth. Even. Healthy.
It's not too late to slather the lotion on. It’s not too late to ask forgiveness for putting other things before God, for dropping the ball, for ignoring His whispers. It's not too late to reorganize, reprioritize, and hit the start button again.
"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9
"If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself." 2 Timothy 2:13
How are you at taking care of spiritual cracks? And what's your favorite lotion? I'm a fan of Vaseline's Cocoa Butter.
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