this bathroom has a little secret. and it isn’t the entire chapters of the Bible and poetry laminated and hanging on the towel rod so i can read and recite Scripture and poetry in the shower... because it is no secret that i read and recite Scripture and poetry in the shower. there isn’t a lot of noises in that bathroom that don’t travel down the hallway and make their way into the rest of the house (thank you 1960’s construction). which is nice when maxx is singing in the shower. and not so nice when i am reciting romans chapter 8 or “death be not proud” for the 184th time...
but sometimes you turn on the shower and the magic happens. we call it the “good shower”. it may be days, weeks, months in between occurrences, but at random times there is this INCREDIBLE amount of water pressure. there is no rhyme or reason (and we have tried countless experiments to make it happen. dishwasher running at the same time. washing machine running. shut off all other water sources. maxx has applied all his scientific experimentation skills to recreating this feat.) nothing can “make” it happen, which makes it all the more special and magical. you just turn on the water and you can hear that there is something different about the way it sounds. it is more niagara falls sounding than its usual drip drop mediocre “i am a 1960’s shower” sound.
and it is magnificent indeed. a pelting. stinging. hurts so good water pressure. that leaves your skin beet red and tingly. and did i mention we have a tankless/endless hot water heater? our one upgrade after the lightning strike took out our old hot water heater and the plumber informed us that there was no place to put a hot water heater in our house that would satisfy the current code issues. so tankless on the outside of the house we had to go. shucky darn. it is such a sacrifice to have hot showers for everyone!!!! well, the kids always had hot showers (albeit they had to each take a 3 minute shower). it was mom who took the last shower that always got the cold water. so the “good shower” is full of heat and strength of water pressure. magical. the thing of legends. ballads could be written about “the good shower” and recited during the “good shower” out loud. but mostly during the good shower you stand there and let it happen to you. in awe and thankfulness.
and what do we do when someone notices that it is the good shower? we tell everyone in the house that the forces have aligned. we run around in a towel saying, “IT IS THE GOOD SHOWER! WHO WANTS TO GET IN AFTER ME?” and usually everyone drops whatever they are doing and gets ready for their turn in the good shower because if you turn off the water between showers, it stops being the good shower. and sometimes in the middle of the second or third shower it just dies down to its normal regular boring showerness. so we all take turns and most of the time we get 3 or 4 “good showers” in when the magic is happening. it is the epitome of fun over at the marshall house. perhaps one day when you are at our house it will happen and you can experience it. start hanging out more often and you may get lucky indeed! you can choose to use the “friend” or the “guest” towel.
which made me think philosophically about my life... of course, everything makes me think philosophically about my life. and how at times it just “magically” seems that every time i open my Bible, i talk to a friend, i watch a movie that God is showering me with His thoughts (or the ones that He knows i need at the time), with His Grace, with Blessed Assurance that His promises stand eternal, with His Sovereignty, with His Goodness, with peace that passes understanding.
this past year has been like a good shower. a little painful but a good hurt. a helpful hurt. i have opened my Bible more than ever. and i have never walked away from reading the Word when He did not send a specific verse that was meant just for me, just for that moment. i have prayed without ceasing. my Bible study subjects have been meant just for me (though the other ladies in there have hardly noticed that beth moore was speaking JUST TO ME.) every week the Scripture in my moms in prayer group has been exactly what i needed to hear and to pray for over my children. i have been more open with people about our lives. my failures. my fears. i have talked to more people who have loved me, prayed with me, cried with me, laughed with me, encouraged me BEYOND belief in so many ways. i have heard songs, read secular books, seen movies, and tv shows that have NOTHING TO DO with anything that have spoken to me of hope in the midst of hardness. it has been a good shower.
and i guess i need to be better at running around in my towel and telling all of you that it is a good shower. the pressure is intense. the steam is thick. the water is hot. but it will cleanse you like no other shower.
and here is what He SHOWERED down on me when i searched biblegateway.com for the word “shower” throughout Scripture...
Deuteronomy 32:1-5 (the message)
Listen, Heavens, I have something to tell you. Attention, Earth, I've got a mouth full of words. My teaching, let it fall like a gentle rain, my words arrive like morning dew, Like a sprinkling rain on new grass,
like spring showers on the garden.
For it's God's Name I'm preaching— respond to the greatness of our God!
The Rock: His works are perfect, and the way he works is fair and just;
A God you can depend upon, no exceptions, a straight-arrow God.
His messed-up, mixed-up children, his non-children, throw mud at him but none of it sticks.
Job 36:27-33 (the message)
He pulls water up out of the sea, distills it, and fills up his rain-cloud cisterns.
Then the skies open up and pour out soaking showers on everyone. Does anyone have the slightest idea how this happens?
Psalm 45:10-12 (the message)
Now listen, daughter, don't miss a word: forget your country, put your home behind you.
Be here—the king is wild for you.
Since he's your lord, adore him. Wedding gifts pour in from Tyre;
rich guests shower you with presents.
Psalm 116:7-8 (the message)
I said to myself, "Relax and rest. God has showered you with blessings.
Soul, you've been rescued from death; Eye, you've been rescued from tears; And you, Foot, were kept from stumbling."
Psalm 142:3-7 (the message)
"As I sink in despair, my spirit ebbing away, you know how I'm feeling, Know the danger I'm in, the traps hidden in my path... Your people will form a circle around me and
You'll bring me showers of blessing!"
Micah 5:7 (the message)
The purged and select company of Jacob will be like an island in the sea of peoples. They'll be like dew from God,
like summer showers.
Not mentioned in the weather forecast,
not subject to calculation or control.
Ephesians 2:7-10 (the message)
Now God has us where he wants us,
with all the time in this world and the next
to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus.
Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It's God's gift from start to finish! We don't play the major role. If we did, we'd probably go around bragging that we'd done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.
James 5:16-18 (the message)
Make this your common practice: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed. The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with. Elijah, for instance, human just like us, prayed hard that it wouldn't rain, and it didn't—not a drop for three and a half years. Then he prayed that it would rain, and it did.
The showers came and everything started growing again.
and my personal favorite (because who doesn’t love a guy named hosea who God told to marry a prostitute named gomer so that he could show her love over and over and over every time she wronged him as an example of how God loves us. i mean you gotta listen to anything hosea has to say)...
Hosea 6: 1-3 (esv)
“Come, let us return to the Lord;
for He has torn us, that He may heal us;
He has struck us down, and He will bind us up.
After two days He will revive us;
on the third day He will raise us up,
that we may live before Him.
Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord;
His going out is sure as the dawn;
He will come to us as the showers,
as the spring rains that water the earth.”
and in true showering fashion i had just listened last week to a sermon by johnny piper about hope and he used these very verses from hosea... dr. piper noted that the fact that God says here in hosea that if there is a dawn in the morning that means there is hope for that day. every time i see the sun rising, i can know that God’s promises stand eternal. until the day that we see the Son reappearing, then our faith will be made sight. there is hope. He will come to us as the showers... as the Good shower...