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I’m in the middle of writing an article on loneliness as a means to drive us deeper into God’s heart and was just struck by the passage this nugget came from. The context is distress and anguish, feeling the grip of death’s crushing pull. Maybe you can relate. But the author of this psalm lifts his eyes above his circumstances and prays for deliverance. He meditates on the character of God; how He is gracious, righteous, and merciful. He remembers what God has done; how He preserves the simple and rescued him when he was flat on his back, hopeless and alone. Then comes verse seven. Circumstances haven’t changed for the author but, then again, God’s worthiness to be worshipped has never been contingent on ideal circumstances. No matter what our lives might look like right now, no matter how uncomfortable or excruciating our circumstances might be, if we have been redeemed by Jesus, we have every reason to “return to our rest;” for the the Lord INDEED has dealt bountifully with us. And He is worthy of our praise and confidence right here. •••• [Also, 1) this is not a staged photo and 2) you should go read all of Psalm 116 for yourself.]
Happy birthday to the best big sister! 🥳 You are as genuine and intentional as they get; you love deep and feel big, and I’m so thankful for your heart and life. 💜 Additionally, I’d like to know how much you were paid to hug me in this photo.
“Do not despair, dear heart, but come to the Lord with all your jagged wounds, black bruises, and running sores. He alone can heal, and He delights to do it. It is our Lord’s office to bind up the brokenhearted, and He is gloriously at home at it.” -Charles Spurgeon
“Theologians who limit the means of grace to overtly redemptive religious practices miss something about the God who speaks without words in the theater of His creation.” -David Powlison

Follow me as I follow Jesus

When God Cleans You With Steel Wool.jpg

Last week was rough. The following is a snapshot into my journal last Tuesday.


“Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness,
let the bones that You have broken rejoice.”
-Psalm 51:7-8

Sometimes it feels like God is cleaning me with steel wool instead of the cotton washcloths I prefer.

As I write this, my heart aches. I’m crying and hurting. I feel broken by longings and unsaid words and independent realities and the delay of good dreams. 

“I know, O Lord, that Your rules are righteous, and that in faithfulness You have afflicted me. Let Your steadfast love comfort me according to Your promise to Your servant. Let Your mercy come to me, that I may live; for Your law is my delight.” -Psalm 119:75-77

pexels-photo-339814.jpeg

Don’t miss this.

This affliction is from the Lord and is a direct result of His faithfulness. It is not to injure but, like using a safety pin to remove a splinter, to heal. It is not to cause grief but to bring us deeper into steadfast love. It is not to rip our hearts but to sew us more tightly into Christ. The fire is not to burn but to purify. So this is to kindle our joy, not to kill it.

I just don’t know what to do with these longings.

I guess there’s only one real option and that’s to sacrifice them to the One who sacrificed His rights for us. 

One day we will be completely clean. Steel wool ensures it.

Until then, I’m learning to embrace these light momentary afflictions, straight from the Potter’s hand, and surrender everything and nothing less to Him.

Everything and Nothing Less

Humbly I stand, an offering
With open hands, Lord I bring

Everything and nothing less, my best, my all
You deserve my every breath, my life, my song

I surrender, I surrender all

Lord take control, I trust You
I’m letting go to give You

Everything and nothing less, I give You
Everything and nothing less, forever
Everything and nothing less, my life is Yours, completely Yours

-Aaron Ivey, Chris McClarney, Jason Ingram

2 comments on “When God Cleans You With Steel Wool

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