Last night I was cleaning what will be our baby nursery. As I was putting away new things in Wesley's closet and wiping down furniture, I was also dragging boxes out of the nursery. This room has been a catch-all room prior to it's new status. The kind of room I lock the door to if people are coming over! Only those who love me unconditionally have seen this room. haha!! So here was a box of sewing accessories & scraps, a box of crafty supplies, a box with an old broken camera and kodak printing dock (what do you do with that old stuff anyway?). I found myself dragging out the old stuff and relocating it so I could work on the new fun stuff. I didn't want to deal with the clutter! I just wanted a clean slate to make a nice place for Wesley to come home to.
Then the Holy Spirit spoke to me [not audibly] and said, this is what God does within us. I have mulled over this since last night. Sometimes things get messier in the cleaning process. Old stuff, hidden sin, gets dragged out into the limelight. It is a painful process, but one that is completely necessary to be clean. But God isn't bringing light to our sin to hurt us. We have all heard John 3:16 " For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." But keep reading: (17) "For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. (18) "Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God's one and only Son." God isn't taking that clutter and throwing it in our face saying 'look what you did!', 'what are you going to do with this mess?'. In fact He has made the cleaning process so simple. I John 1:9 "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."
In Psalm 51 King David pours his heart out to God. In verse 10 he cries: "Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me". This was the cry of David's heart after he had committed adultery and had Bathsheba's husband killed on the front lines in battle. David's story is quite intense! He was a man after God's own heart, yet he was imperfect in every way. David's family story consists of murder, adultery, deception, bitterness, rape! The entire story would make a fantastic Lifetime mini-series!! What made David "a man after God's own heart"? God's heart is not seeking out a perfect species (circa WWII). He is looking for those who have messed up and recognize their sin and have an immense desire to rid themselves of this baggage and serve something greater than themselves. Can we remove that baggage on our own? We certainly try. But all we are really doing is relocating that clutter so we will have to face it at another time...like I keep doing with those boxes. It's not gone, it's there haunting us. So often as Christians, we can go to church and act like everything's peachy, but we have not let go of that clutter, the strongholds, that keep us from moving forward in our walk with God. Acts 3:19 "Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord."
By the way, I still don't know what I am going to do with those boxes! ;)