My dog Zuno is a white Labrador retriever. He likes to run and take naps. He likes people food and rawhide bones. He comes when I call.
Unless it’s bath time.
Then, he runs.
Bath time requires a chase and a firm hand during the bathing process before Zuno finally “escapes” and shakes off every drop of water he can. It doesn’t matter that he was dirty and smelly. Nor does he care that his fur is soft and silky now. He fights against the bath every time.
As much as I laugh at Zuno for his bath time behavior, if I look closely, I find myself doing the same thing. When God calls with blessings and things I like to do, I respond quickly. When it’s time to deal with my own dirt and stink, well, sometimes I run too. God tells us in Psalm 32:8-9 (NIV):
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you. Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding, but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you.”
I would never allow Zuno to stay smelly and dirty. His ears could get infected and I don’t really want him in my lap when he smells. Keeping him clean helps him stay healthy and keeps us close together, but Zuno doesn’t understand and he doesn’t come willingly.
I know better.
So God reminds me that He’s doing what’s best. The smell and dirt of sin need to go, whether it’s a stinky attitude of pride and me-first or dirty thoughts of judging someone else. God wants me to be spiritually healthy and He wants me close to Him too. Those around me benefit too when my spirit is soft and silky-clean like Zuno’s fur and I benefit from renewed humility.
So, when God deals with some of your stink or dirt, don’t make Him chase you down for a bath. Come willingly and draw close to Him, even at bath time.