life and faith

Sinking but not sunk

Confession time today – I’m a bit of a hand-wash harridan.

As a nurse, I spent more time than I care to count washing my hands at a sink.

Those were the days before alcohol sprays and hand-sanitisers were prevalent.

We washed and scrubbed as if our lives (or that of our patients at least) depended on it.

Germs didn’t stand a chance!

As a mother of two young sons, I waged war on the dirt that clung with magnetic-like resistance and repulsed attempts to dislodge itself from football and rugby kit.

Somehow, dirt and boys have an irresistible attraction to one another.

In the era that was pre ‘In-wash’ grime-grabbers, it was a siege against soil wrought with a large bar of green ‘Fairy’ soap, scrubbing brush in hand, ‘elbow grease’ and dogged determination that succeeded in shifting the stains enough to allow machine to take over.

Before little boys graced our lives, I lived as one chained to sink.

Mine red hands that cracked, chapped with soreness, dry as paper, rough as a washerwoman’s.

For I could not shift stains that seeped from heart so soiled it leaked over every surface

Nothing I touched was safe. Germs and dirt lurked everywhere. Nothing shifted it.

In matters of my heart’s state, it was more of a Lady Macbeth cry of, “Will these hands ne’er be clean?” as I scrubbed yet again at the crusted-on soil of my imperfections.

Not just the hands, but heart, mind and everything else.

Peter-like, seeking total immersion in Christ’s washing power.

In life, I have many a heart-sink moment as the following thoughts invade:

I’m a failure. I can’t do this. I’m drowning. I’m my own worst enemy.

Etcetera….etcetera…

No matter how many times I try to clean up on the inside, I fail continually


Spring-cleaning as we know it doesn’t help clean ingrained dirt in heart, mind and life.

Though even in the grime-busting there remains a beauty of sorts as bubbles burst with rainbow radiance – a visible reminder of the wondrous power of God’s grace to remove our stains. 

Just lately, self-esteem has hit rock bottom. The detritus of discouragement has dirtied my thoughts with its muddy footprints.

Comparison has stolen my joy. Competitiveness sours my peace. Criticism (generally of the self-inflicted variety) saps my confidence.

How dare I have the temerity to pursue a God-sized dream, write a blog and start an on-line course, when health and energy are always compromised? Who do I think I am?

I am continually reminded of my weak human frailty and condition.

Then I remember how God fashioned us as clay – earthy, malleable, ready to be made fit for purpose. And that takes time, co-operation, willingness and obedience.

His purpose involves rescuing from those things that hold us captive; yes, even saving us from ourselves, our worst thoughts, activities and desires. 

“I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.” ~ Psalm 40:1-2

God sees our potential even as we drown in poison.

He places His own desires, plans and purposes in our hearts. 

We can stand strong instead of mud-sinking.

The Rock we stand on is Christ Himself. Firm. Immovable. Strong. Dependable.

We are seed-bearers of His goodness and carriers of His grace, beautiful in His sight.

Image Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.Net

Though we may still feel grubby, dirt-laden, unclean and soiled, God’s word tells us we are washed clean once and for all by the blood of Christ, renewed and restored as an on-going process by His grace.

This gives me hope that though I may sink at times, I am never sunk


Love lifted me and He still does – every single day.

These are words God encouraged me with in prayer and I hope they will bless you too:

Prayer Whispers

“It is in those times when you lose sight of Me and become more focused on the opinion and approval of others that you are tempted to sink into a sea of self-pity or drown in discouragement and despair. Lift your head out of that pit and see Me. I have been here all along. My arm ready to reach down and pull you out as soon as you recognised where you were. Pits and valleys are part of Kingdom living in this world, although you are not intended to stay in them. They are passing-places where lessons are learnt and growth and change begin to occur as you move through them and out the other side. Take My hand today and allow Me to draw you gently onto safe ground and pleasant pastures. Feed on My word, abide in My Presence, soak in My love, and you will be healed, renewed and restored to journey on”
Will you join me in taking hold of the hand of Christ?
He specialises in spring-cleaning our souls.

We’re not designed for swamp living, though we can be pretty happy splashing about in muddy waters if that’s all we’ve known.

Let’s allow Him to lift us out of the mud and mire we may have slipped into and place us in the safety of His cleansing, healing, loving embrace.

*******

This week Kimberly Coyle is hosting #concretewords – where we write in the abstract using a concrete word prompt – over at her site. The prompt is ‘The Sink’.
You can keep in touch with me on Twitter or by liking my Facebook page

Please feel free to leave a comment.

I love to read and reply to them.

10 Comments

  1. Tania Vaughan 22nd April 2013
    • Joy Lenton 22nd April 2013
  2. Karrilee Aggett 23rd April 2013
    • Joy Lenton 24th April 2013
  3. Kimberly 23rd April 2013
    • Joy Lenton 24th April 2013
  4. estetik 24th April 2013
    • Joy Lenton 24th April 2013
  5. Deborah Bolton 25th April 2013
    • Joy Lenton 27th April 2013
  6. Pingback: Have a heart - Words of Joy 9th July 2015

Leave a Reply

My Instagram life