Written by Valerie Cleveland
In this strange lull of time we have found ourselves in these days, there are many mundane household tasks we now have the chance to accomplish. The one I chose to tackle this week was pressure washing our back patio. So, we borrowed my parents’ pressure washer last night and I quickly jumped to it this morning. I was excited because I knew this is one of those treasured tasks that yields immediate results. As a mom, out of the ordinary, fast-result tasks are needed every once in a while. However, and to my surprise, there were a couple things I didn’t expect to discover while I was working this morning.
First, apparently, I love pressure washing! Like really love it. I couldn’t put the spray gun down! I found myself spraying off random toys, patio tables, pool storage boxes, and the side of my house. To see dirt, work it with water, and watch a space come clean is completely satisfying. Plus, the cool water from the hose helped make the work more enjoyable. As a bonus, my kids don’t love the loud noise from the machine, so they stayed on their playset and interruptions were minimal (YAY!). But before you think I’m about to reveal that I work for Lowes and they’re running a sale on pressure washers (I don’t, and if they are…well, I might just be first in line), there is a point.
Once I finished my original goal, I found myself looking for more to spray so I went to the brick steps. I really didn’t think they were that dirty. I had actually gently sprayed over them hours before. Now I leaned in and let the full blast of the nozzle work the mortar between the bricks and let me tell you! I think I actually let out a disgusted gasp as chunks of slimy greenish filth came flying back towards my feet. The more I sprayed, the starker the difference became between what was clean and what was dirty. It took something as drastic as a pressure washer to reveal the filth that I didn’t even know was there.
What does the Coronavirus have to do with all this? Well, as I was working it struck me how much my heart is like these dirty brick steps…much dirtier than I’d care to admit. Honestly, dirtier than I truly even know. And it has taken a high-pressure event, like this pandemic, to truly reveal the idols of my heart. 6 months ago, I wasn’t aware of how much I thought my husband and I were the true providers for our family. But in times of grocery store item shortages and unexpected layoffs, I have had to lay my idol of self-sustainability down and admit we rely on God alone to provide. What about my idol of control? How many times in the last two weeks have I been confronted with someone who hasn’t followed all the rules that my family is trying to practice? Yet, I must still treat them with love and respect…then quickly go and wash my hands.
I was also unaware of how scared I am to face the thought of me or someone I love getting very sick. In healthy times, I could hide this particular idol, but now the reality of our frailty is so prevalent. I cling weakly, but fervently to God’s perfect will for the health and future of my family.
What are the idols you are dealing with today?
The ones that were hidden deeply in your heart, but have been revealed through this high-pressure situation the entire world now finds itself in. I encourage you to address them. Don’t move on and leave them there. Don’t breeze over them with a gentle rinse, hindering you from truly standing on Christ alone as your solid rock. Stop, pick up the powerful spray gun of the Scripture and let your heart have it! Blast away your self-dependence, misguided efforts, and desire to control.
Make your requests made known to God, because he cares for you (Philipians 4:6), then take yourself off the throne, and acknowledge that the One there has true power over you, your family, and this virus.
COVID-19 has done many things, but nothing God hasn’t allowed. He is always working to advance his church, save souls, and bring glory to Himself. Only this time, it would seem, he is using a pressure washer.