We’ve been in our house now for one year. I remember working to keep it super clean, as I wanted to be a good steward with it. After all, we’d done a lot of work to find it and get it ready for furniture. Seriously, I swept or used the swiffer on the floors daily, mostly just before I went to bed (We are not carpet or rugs kind of people). I would mop two or three times a week too. I will admit, I was a little obsessive. It was new, it was shiny and I wanted it to stay that way. I slowly backed off of doing that every day, and I actually became a little bit of a slacker. It takes a lot of time and energy to keep it up like that all the time. I try to keep it presentable. So this week I gave it a more thorough cleaning. I won’t list everything I did, but I will say my baseboards look pretty spiffy, because, according to my mom, “If your floors and baseboards are dirty, your house looks dirty no matter how clean everything else is.” Whew!
I had music playing- Starfield, my favorite worship band. So what does God do during all this? Yeah, He used my moments basking in the music and lyrics of the songs as a moment to show me about something that needs some daily attention, and more on my days off from work when I have more time. Life keeps us moving, sometimes like a storm, and we don’t stop to tidy up. The song, “Natural Disaster” was playing and I found myself comparing it to my list of chores. (Yes, I had post-it note check lists for each room.) So I’m singing, “I’m the raging sea, I’m the bending trees, an unstoppable force with a wake of debris. I’m the wind and the rain, I’m the loss and the pain, without you, I’m a natural disaster.” Ah! Look at me! I’m like a dust bunny (or worse) hiding under the couch!
God had some words for me-
“You need time with me to stay tidy, to get clean, to maintain order in your soul…keep you shiny.” God has a sense of humor, let no one fool you about that. He wastes nothing, not even housework.
“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”
Suddenly I am in conversation with Him during each task- from the living room, where I am often lazily watching tv, with it’s hidden dirt under couches, just like I have in my heart, and floors where the first steps away from the world still bring a bit of that dust and debris with them. On to the kitchen, hallway and bedrooms. I’m enjoying the tasks as I am shown how these rooms are like my soul, needing attention, often more than once a day! Then I get to the most dreaded rooms of the house…can you guess? Yep, the bathrooms (cue ominous music). I hate cleaning the bathrooms. I was thinking, “These get dirtier than any other room in the house the FASTEST!” With that thought, the room filled up with the heaviness of His presence and I became a small child, and a lesson began as a question.
Again, the Lord uses a chore with me-
“Do you know why? It’s where you come to wash away all the dirt the world throws on you out there. It’s where you finally stand still, embraced in the gentle force of a shower’s hot water, you’re finally quiet, you think of and speak to me. It’s where you actually try to hear my voice. It’s where you brush your teeth, look at your reflection to examine how your hair is growing and your face changing, and you put in your contacts to allow you to have better vision. It’s where you come to rid yourself of all that you’ve ingested that you don’t need to live. It’s the one room everyone uses all hours of the day and night.” Whoa Nelly!
He wasn’t finished yet-
“You know another place you should go to enjoy some soul-cleansing tasks? It’s the place you will find quiet, be alone with me, where I will wash away all that the world has thrown your way. I will recharge you with living water. I will embrace you in the place where my word flows like a river. I will cleanse your words like that toothpaste you put in your mouth. Here I will show you the image I have of you, I will give you sight. I will rid you of all that is unclean within you. You can rest far away from the world and hear me. Daughter, it’s your Bible. You should enter it daily as well, and as often as you can.”
Ouch! Hello conviction-
Sometimes the Holy Spirit skips hitting the brakes when colliding with us. Rightfully so, and we must choose to absorb the soft pain this collision brings. In it, we can get leveled, startled even, but still find grace and forgiveness from a very patient instructor. Pretty comforting, right?
“Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:14-16
I don’t take advantage of moments I could be wrecking my Bible like I can wreck the bathroom. Shouldn’t it show some wear and tear, maybe even have some writing on its walls I put there, like post-it notes to remember where I am in my soul cleaning. I mean, it’s a guide for taking care of my soul’s house, God’s temple within me, which is constantly dragging in the dirt of this world. Let me run past the cover in a hurry to retreat to scripture, not Let me adjourn to my oasis of peace in the pages and ink of God’s word, like the refuge I consider my bathroom to be.
“Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” Revelation 7:15-17
Now, don’t let the takeaway you get from this be that I encourage you to shred your Bible, or highlight it until the pages are stuck together. But instead, let it be like your favorite anything that you favor in use as you go through your day. Those things get a tad worn, don’t they? Whether it’s a pair of shoes, jeans, a path, or the bathroom, put your hands in and visit God’s words enough that you can see where things get dirty, they can also be made clean.
Now go mop the kitchen.
Worship and Student Leader