The Slow Soak

It’s a common word picture we’ve all heard to describe how something unpleasant sneaks up on us. It’s the idea that a frog jumps out of a boiling pot of water but slowly cooks in water that is heated gradually. Though I have never actually tested this theory, I know its reality all to well in my life.

I, as many others too, work well with hot water. It is easy to see from a distance as the steam rises or sounds through the spout. It doesn’t take much sense to be able to feel the heat when you’re close to the boiling pot or to know to jump right out you have have been tossed into it. There have been many heroic “hot water” moments in my life that I can point to or show scars from. These are great stories of pain and victory.

Problem is, I don’t do well with the slow soak. It’s hard to recognize when you’re in a pot that is slowly heating up. The progress is slow, uneventful, and often has times of comfort as you begin feeling quite warm. It takes a keen eye to know that the bubbles around you are not simply that of a soapy bath but the signs of danger ahead. Often this is the keen eye that I, and many of us, lack. These are often boring stories that leave me sounding weak, nearsighted, and unheroic.

It has been months since I’ve regularly posted on my blog because I was busy soaking in the waters of busyness. One project leads to another. A few successes leads to a desire for more public affirmation. A growing sense of lacking leads to a growing sense of acquisition. One week away from intimacy leads to a whole season of isolation. I recently found myself in a boiling pot where everything I was standing in seemed to be contributing to my inner hurt and I no longer had the energy or strength to jump out. Where was my keen eye?

God’s Word and his People proved this past weekend to be that keen eye. This past weekend the burner my heart was sitting on was finally turned off. I spent a weekend with my church staff and elders on a retreat desiring to hear from God. I heard clearly the voice of God speaking freedom to my heart through the truth of Hebrews 12:19

Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus,

This is a small portion of a larger Gospel that the writer is trying to convey but here is where Christ frees us, frees me, from the slow soak of sin, desperation, and hopelessness. This is where we find there is a glorious alternative to the hot water we are sitting in. This is where every person slowly boiling pot finds saving when the end seems inevitable. The container that we are sitting in may look different and may have different names but the heat still feels the same. There is an alternative to this hopelessness – it is called the Most High Place, the place where God resides. I for one and ready to be done soaking in lies, defeat because I know this is not the end.