This week has been stressful. It was just one of those weeks, you know? So much happened; by Saturday I felt...I don't know, heavy. Not physically heavy, but emotionally. My heart could have weighed 10,000 pounds last night. It probably did. Have you ever had life throw you about twelve curveballs at once, and you realize mid-swing that you don't know how to react to a single one of them?? Yeah. That was sort of what happened.
So I took a bath. My bedroom at home is an icebox and the cold that I felt seemed to soak into my bones and marrow, so I lit candles, put on mellow music, scooped handfuls of bubbles and cocoa-scented soaking serum into the tub, and turned off the lights. I slipped into the water and exhaled the long, loaded sigh that means you have too much on your mind.
The thing about soaking in a bath is that you get to be physically weightless for a while and it makes everything else seem less heavy. The steam sort of clears your thoughts and sinuses simultaneously, and it's like you're safe. No matter what is going on, it's not going to barge into the bathroom and take you away; you are hidden in the watery darkness and nothing can touch you.
Unfortunately, the cold crept back into my body before I was ready. The water became lukewarm and the air was even more unforgiving, but the idea of leaving the safety of the tub was worse than both of those. Although I was pretty sure I had exhausted the hot water, I turned on the faucet, just to check.
I can't really describe the feeling the filled me when steaming hot goodness gushed into my bath, warming up the tepid water in which I sat. It swirled around me, and I leaned my head back and closed my eyes. I stayed in the safety of the bathtub until my stress soaked away, for the moment at least. My hands and feet wrinkled and pruned as if the negativity normally resided in those soft pads of my fingertips or the soles of my feet and could only be extracted with water so hot that it made my stomach turn.
Finally, I stood up, feeling the unfamiliar weight of my body in the cold air. With flushed cheeks and damp hair, I stepped out of the warmth and back into life. The respite had been momentary, but helpful...fleeting, but necessary. Things seemed to be a little bit more in perspective, and I spent the rest of the night in sweatpants in a state of pseudo-contentment.
This morning, I sat in church and I am happy to say that I felt like I was slipping back into my bath when the pastor began to speak. It was like I put my problems into Jesus' hands and asked Him to hold them for a bit while I soaked in the message. I was weightless again.
Nothing is too big for my Jesus, nothing so heavy that He cannot hold it. I may be helpless in the face of life's trials and tests, but my Father is not. Through Him I can do great things; through Him, I can be an instrument of His goodness to the people in my life that need it most. He says in Isaiah that those who wait upon Him shall renew their strength. I may feel, and in fact be, weak right now, but my God never is. I shall wait on Him and His timing and this too shall pass. He is the rising and the setting sun, Alpha and Omega, and the Prince of the Peace that I crave so badly. In Him, I am completed. In Him, I am clean. In Him, my soul shall find rest that is not temporary, like the rest I found in my bathtub, but never-failing, never-ending, always available rest. Like the hope that He offers, He is Perfect.
To the God who created all things and works everything together for the good of those who love Him: Thank you. I love You.