When I was a kid growing up, I remember seeing my mom carrying a large basket full of freshly washed clothes and sheets. She would walk into our backyard and hang the articles on our clothesline. We had no clothes dryer. When mom brought our clothes and sheets back into the house after a day in the sun, they carried the fragrance and crispness of the breeze that dried them.
Today, our home has both and washer and dryer, but Jan will still dry our clothes and sheets on a clothesline in our back yard from time-to-time. Climbing into bedsheets dried in the sun on a clothesline is a unique sensation. The feel of crisp sheets dried in the sun and wind is entirely different than something machine dried.
There have been times in my life when God had to do a deep washing in my soul. I was soiled by personal dysfunction, anger, or unforgiveness. He had to spend time working those stains out of my heart, and then after a process of confession and repentance, He hung me out to dry in the wind of His Spirit so I could be made usable once again for something good and meaningful.
Being hung out to dry by God is embarrassing at first. It feels so public. There you hang, freshly laundered but still too wet from the experience to be fully functional. Coming down prematurely from a spiritual clothesline would be akin to climbing into bed at night and settling down into moist sheets or putting on a wet t-shirt. You can’t rush the drying process. It is there where we regain our perspective and come to appreciate the patient love of God.
The beautiful thing about letting God hang us out to dry is that when the experience is finally over, a crisp and clean feeling replaces the soiled and shame-filled garment we tried to defend and wear before the Lord got our attention and said, “I need to wash that.” If you have been hung out to dry by the Lord, hang in there. He is not done with you. The washing and hanging out to dry are all part of a process that makes us whole and usable once again.