My daughter is the only person I can think of who loves to do dishes. She has since she was a little girl. It was her favorite chore and I was happy to let her do it! In my tiny apartment, there is no dishwasher. Just a tiny sink and lots of dishwashing detergent.

Sometimes our water doesn’t run very hot. It starts out cold which is normal enough, but five minutes later, it is still just tepid. It’s not like there are a lot of people in my building. Of course, maybe it’s just too cold up here lately! Whatever the reason, after letting the water run for some minutes, finally, finally the hot water will come through.

As much as I prefer not to wash dishes, I especially prefer not to wash them in cool water. It’s awfully hard to get them clean. And even though I’m the only one who lives here, it’s probably a good idea to kill as many germs as possible when I was the dishes!

While washing dishes the other day, I realized that God doesn’t wash us in lukewarm water either. His refiner’s fire is hot…and makes us awfully uncomfortable sometimes. Sometimes circumstances get so hot that we aren’t sure we can withstand them.

A friend has hurt your feelings and you’re tempted to be really mad, until the Spirit convicts you of the times you have done the same thing to others.

Illness or financial struggles or concern over family members threatens your peace, until the Spirit reminds you that your hope is only in the Lord.

You’ve prayed for what seems like hundreds of times without apparent answer, and then God shows up in a way you weren’t expecting. 

None of these are small things. None of these are like sitting in a tub of lukewarm water. No, these situations are more like sitting in a boiling pot of water without any way of escape on your own. The prophet Zechariah relayed God’s promise to refine a remnant of those who continue to believe in Him,

This third I will put into the fire;
    I will refine them like silver
    and test them like gold.
They will call on my name
    and I will answer them;
I will say, ‘They are my people,’
    and they will say, ‘The Lord is our God.’

Zechariah 13:9

The testimony is this: even when we are being refined, God is in control. We can trust Him not to let us get burned. And when we are refined, we will call on His name and He will answer us and call us His people.

Let me encourage you today to stay in the hot water because that’s where God is working!


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Holly Barrett

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