I’ve been learning jiu-jitsu — a type of grappling that teaches you how to put your opponent into submission. I enjoy my training because it gives me a great work out and empowers me with simple self-defense techniques. The main problem I’ve encountered (aside from sore muscles) is that you can get mat burn. I’ve discovered these abrasions on my back, feet, elbows and knees. You don’t notice them right away because you are so focused on your training. However, you definitely feel them once you get into the shower.
When the water rolls over the parts of your body that are missing their top layer of skin, you experience sharp stinging sensations. The first time I suffered through this painful shower drama, I thought I was getting stung by scorpions. Now, every time I get in the shower after some ground work, I prepare myself for the burning stings. But I know that if I don’t wash off my abrasions, they will get infected and cause major problems to my body. The pain is a necessary part of my cleansing.
Throughout the Bible, Jesus is compared to Living Water. Water has many amazing qualities, which include cleansing. Jesus desires to purify us and wash us clean; however, it is not always a pleasant procedure. In fact, when we let Jesus wash over our wounds, it can cause us serious and intense pain. But if we don’t let His presence pour into every part of who we are, our past and current hurts will begin to harm us, stealing all the good God wants to bless us with.
The first time we let Jesus expose our wounds, we might be shocked by how much it hurts. However, when we allow the healing process to come to completion, we understand that the pain was necessary to our recovery. Now every time we get hurt, we know that the sting only lasts for a moment; but the joy, peace and healing we gain last a life time. The faster we reveal our wounds, the faster Jesus is able to heal us, giving us new hearts that please Him.
“Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean. Your filth will be washed away, and you will no longer worship idols. And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart” (Ezekiel 63.25-26 NLT).
God has a great purpose for each of us, and He wants to shine His glory through our lives. By accepting Jesus’ payment for our sins and taking on His righteousness, we have become new creations by faith. And God will continue to perfect us until we transform into the beautiful people He created us to be. But we must stay submitted to the healing process that scrubs away the tarnishes of sin. Because of grace we have become members of a Divine Family, and God desires to make His children into the glorious image of His Son.
“It makes good sense that the God who got everything started and keeps everything going now completes the work by making the Salvation Pioneer perfect through suffering as he leads all these people to glory. Since the One who saves and those who are saved have a common origin, Jesus doesn’t hesitate to treat them as family, saying, I’ll tell my good friends, my brothers and sisters, all I know about you; I’ll join them in worship and praise to you. Again, he puts himself in the same family circle when he says, Even I live by placing my trust in God. And yet again, I’m here with the children God gave me.”
– Hebrews 2.10-13 MSG