Do you remember the thrill of washing your first car?

Mine was the best ever!! A 1968 American Rambler with a white roof, teal body, and matching teal seats. I couldn’t imagine owning a better car. To top it all, I’d emptied my entire savings account to pay for it.

At that time, winters in NJ were rough. But my little jalopy took me everywhere. So, with great joy one fine April morning, I hauled out a bucket of soapy water, a hose, and a sponge and gave my baby the first of many baths.

Here in Idaho, car washes occupy nearly every street corner – a far cry from do-it-yourself scrubbing. For a time, my hubby and I bucked the trend. But after many miles on icy, slushy, muddy roads, we yielded to this decadent convenience.

At the entrance to the car wash, a teenager with a bright smile waved us in. Though we couldn’t see them, he ensured that our tires fit perfectly into the tracks on the ground. As soon as we shifted the car into neutral, voilà, it began to roll into the tunnel. When a green light flashed, Smiley picked up a hose and squirted our car with a sudsy film. Then he disappeared! Actually, everything did!

To our surprise, we rolled into a soapy cloud that progressed to a torrential downpour with catastrophic gusts. Ah, but once the storm ended, we could see perfectly through a clean windshield. Little did we know, we had yet to endure a heat wave. Large red lights descended, then retracted as we neared a closed garage door.

Wait – shouldn’t someone open the door – soon!? As quick as a prayer, the door opened and we happily rolled toward a flashing green light that said “GO.” Once we shifted into drive, we left the tunnel and traveled down the road to home.

No longer car wash novices, we’ve learned to enjoy the experience. Safe in our little bubble, we sometimes bring coffee to sip while the storm rages around us. We’ve even taken our precious grandchildren with their frozen yogurts along for the ride. And always with excellent results—a squeaky clean car.

The more I thought about the car wash process, I realized how much it mirrors a Christian’s life.

We come to the Lord, and He graciously takes us just as we are—even if we’ve participated in icy, slushy, muddy roads. With a brilliant smile, He waves us forward, and by His Spirit He directs us onto the right track. Then, unlike Smiley at the car wash, He stays with us through blinding storms, harsh winds, and scorching heat. As we travel life’s road, the more we lean into Him, trusting Him for the things we can’t see (faith), our relationship deepens. We grow to love and praise Him, in seasons of plenty, pain, or problems.

One day, all the rocky ridges and slippery slopes will clear. We’ll come to the green light, the moment we’ll shift into “GO.” And we’ll head home, into the arms of Jesus!

In the meantime, I want to bring as many family and friends through the car wash. How about you?

Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. (2 Tim. 4:2, NIV)

By Author eMarie

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6 Replies to “ICY, SLUSHY, MUDDY”

  1. Excellent analogy! I love it!

    My first car wash: One of my high school friends got the idea of having a car wash to help pay down the federal budget deficit. (It was only $74 billion at the time.) So we made our signs and held our car wash. (We also made it in the newspaper.) We faithfully sent our earnings, a couple hundred dollars off to the Treasury Department, but I don’t think our couple hundred dollars made too much of a dent. Ha!

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