What laundry taught me about prayer.

I’ve been studying the life of David. I’ve always been comforted by his Psalms because he’s kind of all over the place – which describes me most of the time. He’s up, he’s down, he’s everywhere in between. He feels all the feelings. And he feels them deeply. Like, “Go Big or Go Home: Feelings Edition.”

Thanks to many a good teacher and preacher, I know to let FACTS and FAITH take the lead in my life – NOT my feelings. Feelings are fleeting – we know this. Facts are solid. When placed in a strong God, faith is sturdy. But feelings? Lord, have mercy.

So, back to David. I’m working through a study by Beth Moore (which I highly recommend – you can check it out here). This morning, I read Psalm 142, which David penned while hiding in a cave, fearing for his life. He cried out to God and poured out his heart – the whole mess of it. In the commentary, Beth made a life-changing observation:

[David’s] feelings were not an accurate assessment of the truth, but they were worthy to share with God. Feelings can be a little like our laundry. Sometimes we can’t sort them until we dump them on the table. – Beth Moore, David: Seeking a Heart Like His, p. 62

What can LAUNDRY teach us about PRAYER? You may be surprised. And relieved! (I was.) Of all the laundry tips and tricks, this is the first to impact my life OUTSIDE the laundry room! You don’t want to miss it.Really, you guys – how often do I search through a basket of laundry, looking for the right things, all while trying to keep the entire pile confined to the container? (The answer is: VERY OFTEN.) I’m searching and sorting, but my effort is severely crippled by my attempts to keep anything from spilling out the sides.

If I just dump it all out on the bed, I can quickly sort through and find what I’m looking for – or even FIGURE OUT WHAT I’m looking for.

Why the insistence on keeping it all jammed in the basket?

God is not concerned about me spilling out the sides. Not when I’m with Him.

He’s big enough. I’m not too much for Him.

Do you know you’re not too much for Him?

I don’t need to sort it all out first. I don’t need to sort ANY of it out first. My prayers don’t even have to make sense. What I feel doesn’t have to be an accurate reflection of my situation. It doesn’t have to be “right.” It can just BE WHAT IT IS.

I truly can come to Him JUST AS I AM.

And in coming to Him, some things come undone. Some things tie together. Some things break apart. Break down. Break open. Some things make more sense. Some, less.

But in the sorting, sifting, breaking, healing, I’m in His presence. And THAT makes all the difference.

Apart from Him, I worry, stew, spiral, and fixate until I don’t know which way is up.

He is my anchor. He is my steady ground. And He is not shaken by me – my complaints, confusion, wondering, and wandering.

So bring it all to Him. The glorious you AND the gross you. The pretty you, the pathetic you.  Courageous you, confused you.

Bring all of you.

Pour yourself out to Him in prayer.

And be revived as He pours Himself into you.

And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. – Romans 5:5

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