Yesterday, I had a pan that had baked too long in the oven. Inside was a burned mess stuck hard to its surface. As I washed the dishes, first I tried to scrub the pan, but discovered it was an impossible feat, even using a steel wool scrubbing pad. So I left the pan to soak for 15 minutes in the water.

When I came back, some of the mess scrubbed away, but not the toughest part. So I left it to soak even longer. I came back after an hour and guess what? The water had softened all that gunk so that I didn’t even have to scrub it away. I wiped it all easily off with my soft dishcloth, and the pan was as good as new.

Life is like that. We get baked in the oven of life and we get messy gunk. Sometimes it’s baked on us so hard that it feels like we’ll never be the same. But here’s a secret I’ve learned–if we come to Jesus and sit at His feet and soak in His presence, He’ll wash all that gunk away.

Yes, 15 minutes helps. But like that pan I had yesterday, 15 minutes only gives enough time for some of the gunk to soften so it can be washed away. We’ve got to soak in the presence of Jesus for an hour each day if we really want to see results.

What does it mean to soak? It can mean different things on different days. Some days I just sit in a comfy chair and turn on a CD. Worship music floats over me as I sit there and rest in the presence of the Lord. Other days, I read my Bible first and write my prayers in my journal. I carry on a conversation with God, pouring out the hurt and pain that is overwhelming my heart. He speaks to me through His Word and in His still small voice in my heart, comforting me, refreshing me, and washing away all the mess.

So come, beloved of the Lord! Come away with Jesus. Soak in His presence for one hour today until all that crusty gunk that has built up in your life can be washed gently and completely away by His nail-scarred hands.