An Invitation to Stay in the Shower

“Mickey and the Seal”*

“Abide in me, and I in you… As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love” (John 15:4,9, ESV).

I had a dream several months ago that has provided me with a new, vivid way to grasp this passage of Scripture. In the dream, I found that the tub in my bathroom was full of water – but not just to the normal level. Rather, the water level went all the way up to the top of the shower curtain. Yes, you understood that right; it was a curtain. It was not even a glass door, which made the imagery even less compliant with the rules of physics.

I stepped all the way into the water. The top of it was over my head, so I found myself submerged entirely, standing in the tub. Breathing was not an issue nor a difficulty. By stepping in, I was immediately immersed in a sense of sublime, heavenly refreshment. The peace and joy flowing through me and all around me was hard to describe. It was an exquisite experience.

Then, a family member called to me from another part of the house. In a rush to meet their expectations for my attention, I stepped out of the water. It instantly lost its shape and resumed normal water behavior, falling down out of the air. The amazing moment and its corresponding opportunity were gone.

When I woke up, I knew that Holy Spirit had given me a tangible, interactive experience of His presence through this dream. Of course, we know that Jesus referred to His Spirit as “rivers of living water” when He promised His coming to us (John 7:37-39). The Lord had taken the biblical symbol of living water and brought it home to me in a very personal way.

Now, fast forward a few months from the date of this dream. One morning recently, as I woke up, He brought it back to my remembrance. In obedience to His prompting, I lay there and focused on the memory and sensation of being submerged in that divine water. “Living” describes it perfectly. I soaked in His presence again as I began my day, reliving that amazing feeling.

In the evening, He sealed the whole thing in my heart in a wonderfully creative way. As I visited at a friend’s house, her granddaughter was watching old Disney cartoons. Snatches of them danced at the corner of my eye. I distractedly noticed Mickey interacting with a mischievous seal that had invaded his bathroom.

Then, I was startled in a delighted way. At the very end of the cartoon, the seal had filled Mickey’s shower all the way up to the top with water… and was swimming and frolicking in it! It was exactly the same imagery as the dream Holy Spirit had brought me back to that very morning – with the added twist of playfulness and joy. I did a double take and grinned at Him, whispering, “Thank You!”

Here is the take-home lesson for us. In my dream, I got distracted from enjoying the living water when someone called me away from it. I allowed that person to make a demand on me that stole from me the joy of lingering in that place of immersion in Him. In allowing their expectation of me to dictate the moment, the provision intended for me was cut shorter than God intended. He had wanted me to stay, and soak, and be utterly refreshed.

 

We face a similar choice every day. Will we step into His presence and linger there? Will we abide, stay, dwell… in His love? He fills up the tub and invites us in. Will we remain, soaking in His living waters, or will we allow the demands on us to quickly pull us away?

 

*Image from “Mickey and the Seal,” https://disney.fandom.com/wiki/Mickey_and_the_Seal  

 

17 thoughts on “An Invitation to Stay in the Shower

  1. So beautiful and precious. It reminds me of Heidi Baker’s Birthing the Miraculous that I read with a dear friend and that I can now see propelled us into the writing of a book together that has been God’s writing of His Word on our hearts. We began at the beginning of 2017 and finished it only recently – God truly plunged us ever deeper into the Ezekiel prophecied waters from ankle deep to fully submerged. Thank you for this beautiful reminder of His submerging and all He has done and is continuing to do in us both. I will have to share this post with her also.

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      1. We haven’t published it in “book” form (yet 😉), but on my blog, piece by piece. It’s called “Arise and Shine: Beloved, You are Mine”. God first placed it on my heart to write, but then when I began, I felt it was too big for me to do it alone. He then led me to reach out to a blogging friend I had only just gotten to know, funnily because I closed my blog and retreated from all online fora, but that led to us connecting in a deeper way via email and later Skype, as we often prayed together, seeing the Holy Spirit move in our midst. As we both prayed through my invitation to her, He gave us His heart and structure for the book’s focus: the free will offerings brought forward to build the Temple. He led Bettie to Scriptures on the tabernacle and me to the Temple Solomon built. And it’s then Bettie just knew it was God calling her and He continued to show us His weaving, as we saw so many ways our lives, families and stories connected.

        As we communicated to and fro across the oceans God continually wove us together in His Spirit, as we prayed through each piece and also had a joint friend of ours praying with us too. God just kept taking us deeper, stripping and cleansing and purifying not just the words we shared, but our hearts and lives also.

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      2. That sounds incredibly special! Wow, what a journey! I can only begin to imagine the depths of all that He has done in and through you and in your friendship through all of it. How beautiful. Will you be moving towards putting it in a book?

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      3. Right now, we don’t have plans to do so. The Holy Spirit has been prompting me every few days to do even more editing on posts we have published and it’s bringing Bettie and I so much joy to see these edits coming and to recognize the beauty He has uncovered, since we first started writing together. So: we are just following His sweet promptings.

        I love that Bettie fully trusts me to edit as God leads me – also bits she has written – and takes joy in what God is uncovering that affirms what He has already been showing her and speaking to her.

        BTW I just watched a clip on Peru that you had mud slides there and a school was destroyed? How are you doing?

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      4. That process sounds very precious and enriching! Both for you in your relationship with Jesus, and in your Kingdom friendship with Bettie. Wonderful.

        The mud slides did not affect us here in the city of Iquitos where I live. Thank you for checking though!

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      5. So thankful to hear you are okay. So hard for those who went through that mudslide, now having to rebuild things. May God reveal His restoration and redemption for them in that place of loss.

        Yes: it is precious and enriching. It’s funny how unique our journeys are. I remember someone telling me about how God hid her writing with Him completely for ten years – but that she now sees His protection of her heart. For me – He’s had a continual hemming in to lead me out again – and it’s almost like I’ve needed the humbling of that writing and editing happening publically (with repeated periods of hiddenness in between) to assure me of His mercy and compassion for me and others through the process of repentance.

        Reminds of reading last night about the manifold ways of grafting. There’s not just one way of bringing about that abiding in the tree. One that particularly touched my heart was where much moisture was needed but not too much light – but rather a gentle exposure to light.

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      6. Again, so very beautiful. It’s exceedingly precious how the Father uses creation to teach us the realities of the spiritual realm. And what a wonderful process He has brought you through with your writing!

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  2. And I so love what God revealed to you about expectations. Even there: as God sets our expectations upon Him and His provision as we look into His face, we aren’t so susceptible to that pulling away to satisfy our own fleshly expectations of ourselves to fulfill what is in fact God’s role in others’ lives.

    Recently, as I struggled with seeing my investment in others not being returned (in my eyes: ouch pride), I went to God and asked Him to show me what He wanted to teach me in this apparent withholding. He said to me: “I am weaning you of breast milk and teaching you to eat solid food.” Suddenly what felt like my “failure” (in the lack of response) turned into me being proud that God believed I was ready for such a step, that I no longer needed the affirmation of man because He knew I was confident in His love- enough to go to Him for that affirmation I needed that what I was doing was what He wanted me doing (which it was). 😊

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  3. What delightful imagery of His presence God provided in that dream, Jennifer–with a laughter-worthy reminder from that cartoon! (Who says God doesn’t have a sense of humor?) I too am guilty of letting the voice of distraction pull me away from abiding in Him. Your synonym for abiding, “immersion” adds new understanding to the familiar verses in John 15. Thank you!

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    1. Aw, your comment puts a joyful smile in my heart and on my face! I am so very glad that His creative communication through my dream and the cartoon blessed and spoke to you too! Aaamen, He has such a wonderful sense of humor and fun 😀 Thank you, Nancy ❤

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  4. Beautiful. Simply a beautiful noticing. At our community night this week we talked about the Sabbath. Two weeks out of five I do not have an entire day during that week without work or ultimate frisbee training for worlds. Those demands on my time are real, tangible, and sometimes feel like a pull away from resting well. In those weeks I have to work harder to make a few hours every night to stop, breathe, and be in God’s presence. He is there, bathing me in His spirit. When I do this, I almost always feel that to sense of joy you have described. 🧡

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