“Honey, we woke up before the alarm clock went off!” my smiling husband remarked.
“That’s wonderful, but we’d better move quickly. We need to get the laundry done before I drop you off at work this morning.”
After our showers, we collected the towels, added them to the mountain of clothes that needed to be washed, grabbed the detergent, and raced downstairs to the laundry room of our apartment building.
Thirty minutes later, after a good energy-producing breakfast, we dashed downstairs to put the clothes in the dryer.
“Don’t forget the fabric softener sheet,” my husband reminded, “or the towels will feel scratchy.”
Later as I worked at my computer, I remembered a few times when I had felt as if God had put me through the hot-water wash cycle. My circumstances suddenly changed from being calm or manageably bumpy to nearly chaotic, as if a giant agitator was shaking everything and everyone in my life. Sometimes the water temperature seemed close to boiling.
God chooses the wash cycle that we go through
Sometimes we enjoy a short, gentle cleansing in cold water, then He carefully hangs us up to dry like delicate lace. We’re cleansed of impurities, and we feel refreshed. At other times, we experience a lengthy, heavy-duty washing in hot water, followed by a warm rinse and a dizzying spin to drain off the dirty, soapy water. When He takes us out, we discover that a pair of black jeans has bled on us, turning us an ugly gray shade. He puts us back in the washer again for another cycle. We may be tempted to ask, “What did I do to deserve this? It wasn’t my fault that those jeans dumped their dark color on me.”
Just when we think, I’m glad that second wash cycle is over! we’re abruptly tossed into the dryer for an hour of tumbling in hot air. As we bump into other pieces of laundry, our whole world seems confusing and out of control.
At times, we may feel forgotten–like socks rolled inside a towel or tangled in a bedsheet, but God knows right where we are. He knows how much drying we need. Fortunately, He never forgets to include the fabric softener of His graceso that we’re not just clean and dry, but we’re also gentle, sweet-smelling and pleasant to be around.
When God puts His children through the wash cycle, He always has our best interests in mind
Sometimes we may need the grime of the world washed off or the frustrations of recent struggles rinsed away. Our mindset may need to be spun around so that it’s more in line with His view. He may want to blow away a negative attitude and replace a discouraged outlook with the scent of His presence. He knows precisely how much fluffing and drying we need to be ready for the next thing that He has planned for us.
God values His children far more than we value our most prized article of clothing.
We would never carelessly allow our favorite shirt to be shredded in the washer or our most expensive pair of slacks to be shrunk in the dryer. God planned our lives before He created us. When He puts us through the wash cycle, He doesn’t take His eyes off us for even a moment.