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Jesus and Vomit

[from the archives] My kids were sick with the stomach flu (again) this week and this post came to mind. I thought it was worth re-sharing.

My kids had the stomach flu last week, meaning there was lots of vomiting…everywhere…for days. This is never fun as a parent. Never.

Once the sickness subsided and life began to return to normal, I curled up in my bed and began reading some more of Crazy Love, Francis Chan’s book, which I am currently making my way through.

And what do I begin to read, but a whole chapter dedicated to defining exactly what a lukewarm person looks like. Suddenly, I felt uncomfortable. I got squirmy. “Yeah, that’s me,” I thought to myself. “Yup, I do that,” or “No, I don’t, but I should.”

While reading, my week of cleaning up vomit came full circle. I was struck with an image of Christ, bent over, racked with grief and pain, vomiting…violently vomiting. What was He vomiting up? …Me.

I have never liked this verse in Revelation, you know the one I’m talking about…Jesus vomiting the lukewarm person from His mouth. Okay, I’ll just type it. This verse:

“So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will vomit you out of my mouth.” Revelation 3:16

For most of my Christian life, I have always felt like the “hot,” “on-fire,” or at the very least “smoldering”  Christian. I never felt the fear of being the very unattractive and undesirable lukewarm one whom God was so quick to rid Himself of.

I felt…comfortable. Gulp. Those are words of death–spiritual death– in regards to our faith. Dare I say, we should never feel “comfortable.”

And look, I’m not going to play coy and pretend as those the words in Chan’s book were revelatory to me and as if they had shaken me from a long naive coma. I knew I was turning lukewarm. I have known that my feelings for Jesus have been running a bit cold lately.

I just didn’t like reading it right there on a page…in print. It stung and it sucked.

I thought then about my kids vomiting, how sick they had been, yes, but more so about how violent the act of vomiting really is.

God could have used a host of other words in that verse or even a host of other metaphors, but He didn’t. He chose to use a graphic, descriptive, violent, forceful metaphor to paint us…me…a picture.

Some translations say “spew” which is the same meaning. Volcanos spew…hot molten lava. They erupt. They explode. They vomit.

I read through page after page of the lukewarm checklist in Crazy Love, and while I certainly did not fall into each category, I have much  forgiveness to seek and repentance to embrace.

The thing is, too, that I really like Jesus. I mean, I like-love Him and I want to LOVE Him. And I really, really don’t want to be ejected, spewed, or vomited from His presence. I want to abide in Him. I do not want to grieve Him or give Him anything, but every. single. little. piece. of. me.

He deserves nothing less and, right now, I deserve nothing less than being vomited from His mouth.

Are you or have you ever struggled with lukewarmness? How do Christ’s words on the subject make you feel? How do you best battle the temptation to become lukewarm?

post image here