Stuck in the Spin Cycle

My washing machine has a mind of its own. It is old, it is somewhat cranky, it lacks a warranty, it cleans what it’s in the mood for cleaning, and it always gets stuck before the spin cycle. No, let me take that back. If my washing machine could speak for itself, it would declare that it never gets stuck before the spin cycle. It would happily announce to the world that it has done its duty and is quite simply finished. Thankfully, it does not have the opportunity to speak when I remind it about my expectations by manually moving the dial until it reaches the SPIN cycle – and begins to spin not with a thankful heart, but with a sigh of surrender and submission to my decision to give it my manual kick in the butt (so to speak). My walk with the Lord has a spin cycle all its own, and quite frankly I have found myself in the spin cycle yet again.

Unlike my washing machine that rebelliously refuses to even enter into the spin cycle, from time to time I find my own self swept away into the spin cycle – and can’t seem to get out. While the Lord continues to refine me and to purge from my life what needs to go, while He renews my mind and cleanses my heart, He reminds me that He doesn’t just want the suds and stuff gone. He doesn’t merely want to pluck me in the washing machine for a quick wash. He doesn’t want to pull me out as soon as the latest dirt is gone. He wants me to go through ALL the cycles – the whole process – to ensure that I receive His very best washing. He wants me to emerge clean, fresh, and ready for where He wants to take me next. And while I wonder where He will take me next in my life, He speaks into my heart that He is more concerned with my intimacy with Him than anything else.

But why do I feel like I keep getting stuck in the spin cycle? Why do I feel like I am spinning in circles only to be God-handled back into the whole cleansing process all over again? Won’t I ever get out of this purification process? What kind of washing machine is this anyway? Can’t I manipulate the dial like I do on my washing machine to stick myself where I want to go? Knowing God, I probably could try. After all, He has given me so-called free will to do as I desire. But free will comes with a price – the price of missing God’s best for my life. So as I continue through this seemingly never-ending spin cycle, I remember this.

God loves me so much that He doesn’t want to leave me in my mess. God knows when I need to be cleaned up, and He also knows when I need to be dried off. He knows when each cycle needs to begin, and when it needs to end. He knows the seasons of my life, and He knows the seasons of my heart. If I am willing to keep my hand off the dial and to trust Him, He will keep me in each cycle for as long as He needs to in order to do what He desires.

Sometimes I feel like the piece of clothing that landed in the wrong laundry pile.

“Help, get me out of here!” I cry unabashedly as I plead for mercy. “I’m not supposed to be in this pile of wash. I’m in the wrong load! I’m in the wrong cycle! Open the door and pry me out of here. These other articles of clothing are suffocating me! God, are you out there?”

Of course God is out there. But He is also in here. He is inside my heart. And, in living inside my heart, He is also in the washer with me, isn’t he? He is even holding me in His hands, holding me in His heart. He is comforting me, loving me, forgiving me, having mercy on me, and soothingly reminding me that this isn’t any ordinary washing machine. Nor is it any ordinary spin cycle. In fact, I am not spinning in sudsy circles at all – not the laundry detergent kind anyway.

I am merely being made ready for a deeper, more intimate relationship with Him; a more precious and meaningful walk with Him; and a more prepared heart and life to do what He calls me to do on this earth of His.

So, I sigh. Another day in the spin cycle coming right up. The dial isn’t stuck. God has His hand on the dial, and He has His hand on my life.

1Co 6:11  “And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”

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