Tuesday, October 19

Deep Cleaning

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Psalm 51:1-3

My husband and I recently moved to a new place, and for the better part of the past couple weeks, dozens of boxes have littered our apartment floor. We have been walking around them, stepping over them, and tripping on these cardboard nuisances as we have undergone the process of creating some semblance of order as we get them unpacked and their contents put away in their new places. Upon inflicting a rather nasty bruise as the result of tripping over a box and landing against the corner of our desk, I called to mind an amusing scene from the movie Apollo 13 in which Jim Lovell's wife, half-heartedly dragging a garbage bag, declares "I can't deal with cleaning up; let's sell the house."

Some people mistakenly think that before they can come before God, they need to have their lives cleaned up a bit and all the garbage taken out. I myself have sometimes failed to understand the extent of God's "come as you are" policy. There have been times when I have avoided spending time in fellowship with other Christians because I felt like there were things in my life that were too unorganized for me to share with them. I thought that only once I had my act together would I be able to function as a member of the church.

God sees us exactly where we are in life and wants us to let him take over regardless of our state of disrepair. We don't need to waste our time or energy trying to clean up--we can just sell the house! When we offer our lives to Christ, we are acknowledging that we are imperfect and unable to do any good on our own. We are completely unable to save ourselves from our sins, let alone clean up any of the messes our sins may cause in our lives. When God takes up residence in our hearts only then can the cleaning process begin. As we spend time reading God's word, the Holy Spirit will convict us and show us how to clean up. God will inspect every nook and cranny or our hearts and our lives. He will help us decide what things need to go because they are taking up too much room, and which things can stay.

I am glad that I don't have to clean things up before turning them over to God. I don't think that any of us would be able to stay ahead of the small messes we make as the daily result of sin in our lives. I like knowing that every day, God gives us a clean start, so long as we ask him to. God is constantly there to help us make sure that things stay cleaned up and neat. By asking God to help us straighten up and organize the details of our lives, we can eliminate the time we waste trying to heal from all the bruises we will inflict upon ourselves as we trip over the messes we leave lying in the middle of the floor.

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