A few weeks ago Carynne's preschool teacher sent home a bar of Dove soap. My assignment was to shave this bar of soap into tiny pieces that Carynne would later mold back together into a snow man. Certain I was up to the challenge, I grabbed my efficient Pampered Chef grater out of the cabinet and set to work.
Around what must have been flake number 564,127 my hand began to ache. With just a few more turns of the crank my ache flared into a throb. Inwardly I laughed as I wondered to myself how my life had been reduced from pricing million dollar insurance policies to producing millions of little soap "snowflakes" that resulted in a hand ache so fierce I had to ponder if one of those fancy machines at the gym could be utilized to increase the muscularity of one's hand.
Today I am reading 2 John. 2 John is one of those unique books of the Bible that is a single chapter containing just thirteen verses. The themes of this letter are similar to those in 1 John so in some ways this letter is the "Cliff Notes" version of 1 John. He zeroes in on the importance of demonstrating love and remaining faithful to Jesus' teaching.
Following the precise instruction of Christ is so important to John that he says to "abide in the teaching of Christ" (Verse 9). To abide means to continue, remain or even to dwell. This implies both a frequency and duration of use. Part of the reason my hand cramped up when I was using my fancy grater is that it stays tucked away in my kitchen cabinet probably 364 days a year. As handy as it was to use for that project, its' lack of use leading up to that point produced pain in my life.
When I treat God's word with the casualness of use when convenient, my life can cramp up as well. And it takes far less than 364 days for me to feel the impact of lack of use. Often it takes only a single day of leaving my Bible tucked on the shelf before my words and attitudes look more like dirty snow than the newly fallen version.
Jesus, sometimes I forget just how very much I need you. Today I don't want to leave you forgotten on the floor beside my bed. I want to pick up Your word and let it dwell in my heart. That truth can melt away the dirtiest of my snow and replace it with the purity of Your freshly-fallen truth.