Preparations for our family’s anticipated arrival can be a bit daunting. Because they haven’t visited in some time, we like to get the house and yard looking their best. Our ‘To-Do’ list reads something like this:
*clean out and organize the garage
*pressure wash the porch and deck
*finish planting the succulent garden
*complete repairs to the waterfall
*clean the screen room
*organize the closets
*clean the refrigerator and pantry
*touch up the scuff marks on the walls
And of course the normal cleaning, laundry and food preparation has to fit in there somewhere too! Can anyone relate? With only two days until our company arrives, I’m doubtful that all the items on our list will be checked off. The more important things have made it to the top of the list.
As I sorted through the coat closet, weeding out summer jackets and flip-flops, I got to thinking about the ‘closets’ in my life. I have a special ‘guest’ who occupies my heart – the Lord Jesus Christ. Am I diligent to keep my heart’s closets clean? Or are there those closets that I post a “Do Not Enter” sign upon?
Some of the closets may look like they’re neat and orderly. Just don’t look too closely or you may see the layer of dust. There’s the closet of ‘Good Intentions.’ All of those things I plan on doing one day. Going to visit the elderly shut-ins. Taking that counseling course. Writing that devotional series. I know they are things God wants me to do, yet I allow distractions to keep me from opening this closet door and getting busy.
Too often the “Do Not Enter” sign hangs above the closet that, should it be opened, would empty its contents onto the floor in an unorganized heap. Areas in my life that I need to yield to the Master. Things that I may not even realize I’m holding onto: anger, bitterness, envy, criticism, pride.
How appropriate to say with the Psalmist, “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; KJV). If we are still and listen closely, He will be faithful to reveal those things that are not pleasing to Him. After all, “O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether. Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it” (Psalm 139:1-6).
God is intimately acquainted with all of our ways, and loves us in spite of them! That is truly a reason to rejoice. He loves us enough to patiently point out those ‘closets’ in our lives that need to be opened and cleaned out.
Is there a ‘closet’ in your life that needs to be opened? Your Heavenly Father already knows what’s in there. Allow Him to help you begin the cleaning process today!