Have you ever “spring cleaned” your house. I have to be honest and tell you that I have attempted to do it quite a few times. I always start right after Christmas with good intentions, but somehow I never fully reach all the rooms of my house. The good news though, is that each year I begin in a different room. So with eight rooms in my house, they are at least getting cleaned thoroughly every eight years.
This year I choose the kitchen. I cleaned out every cabinet. I washed the walls. I cleaned appliances. Why I cleaned behind the stove and refrigerator. I even scrubbed the floor! That in itself is a wonderful story which I will share later on.
During this week, yes I said week of deep cleaning, I found things I didn’t realize I had. I found some things I wondered why I had ever purchased. I filled trash bags with lids which had no bowls. I threw out old pots and pans that were banged up, rusted, crusted and warped.
Finally the last cabinet had been emptied and restocked. The last wall had been washed. The floor had been scrubbed. I was right proud of myself.
I had survived the hard work–the ups and downs of the chair that lifted me up to cabinets and the crawling on my hands and knees to clean the bottom cabinets of my kitchen. I had even survived cleaning the oven. Okay, it was self-cleaning but I still had to get up inside and wipe it out! That in itself was a chore!
My hands hurt from holding on to the scrub brush while scrubbing the floor. Oh, but how my white floor did shine. (May I state that I had hated that floor for 14 of the 15 years we have lived in this house!) But on this day I loved it, because it was shiny and bright from all the hard work I had put into it.
I have never been so proud of my kitchen! I wanted to call a press conference and invite everyone over to see it. If you haven’t caught on by now I’ll let you in on a secret, I abhor house work! No matter how hard I work within a few days it is to do all over. My friend Kelly and I share this issue. We agree that there is more to life than a clean house.
Why am I sharing this with you? While attempting to “spring clean” my house I felt the calling to invite God to do a spring cleaning on my spiritual house. Had I known He’d come with a scrub brush I might have reconsidered that thought.
But to be a vessel God can use we must keep cleaning out the clutter of our lives. I don’t know about you, but I have a tendency to treat my spiritual house like my own house. I have good intentions, however, I hold on to things that are not useful or beneficial to me as a child of God. After a while those things build up and begin to cover up and smother those things that are good and profitable.
Going through my spiritual house with God was not easy and neither is it finished. There have been days of crying over old hurts and wounds that I had stored away. There have been days of tears as God pointed out the things I had “purchased” that did not fit the “décor” of my house. There were days of rejoicing when God began to scrub away the old marks on my walls and hang His truths in their place. But, with each piece that left I began to feel lighter. Granted not all areas are complete, but I can smell the faint scent of refreshment and revival.
My dear friend, I want to be a vessel that God can use. I want people to see Jesus in me and through me. I want God to live within me in such a way that I experience Abundant Life to its fullest. I want that for you, too. And it can be yours if you are willing to open yourself up to His “spring cleaning”.
If you find yourself now wanting to do that I invite you to pray these verses with me:
“Search me, O God, and know my heart:
try me, and know my thoughts:
and see if there be any wicked way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23-24.
My prayers will be with you as you make this choice. As we laugh and cry together through the cleaning of my soul, I hope you find the courage and strength to allow God to finish His task.
This is the introduction to a Bible Study that I have been writing and teaching for the past 2 years. I would love to have your feedback on it. Thanks.