This is the time of year for Spring Cleaning—cleaning out closets, and cupboards, giving away what others can use, and throwing away what no one can use, organizing and cleaning what remains.
I don’t really like Spring Cleaning. It is not my “milieu”—my area of strength.
I feel like God has been doing some Spring Cleaning, in my “house.” Lately, I have been through some circumstances that have reminded me of other painful times in my life. Times of conflicts with others, times I felt vulnerable and exposed and rejected.
Usually, when I am reminded of these times, I feel the same feelings of anger and a desire for the offending party to experience justice. This time, God has said, “I want you to look at this situation, really look–and I want you to forgive this person. Forgive them from your heart. Now, I want you to Thank Me, for this — whatever it is.
In the words of Ney Bailey, “We become bitter to the degree that we do not give thanks.” Or in the words of scripture, “See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God, and no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble and by it many be defiled.” Hebrews 12:15
“In everything give thanks for this is the will of God for you, in Christ Jesus our Lord.” 1 Th 5:18
God commands us to give thanks to Him, in everything!! He tells us this, for our benefit–to get our eyes off the storm, and onto Him–our Protector in the midst of the storms.
When I was giving thanks to God for these difficult things–I did not feel thankful, I will probably never “feel” thankful. I thanked Him because I am seeking to obey Him, despite my feelings. I am seeking to live a life of faith–of obeying what God tells me, in spite of my feelings.
For a long time, I have let my feelings dictate my forgiveness of others. But as I said in my last post, Embracing Joy, I am determined to forgive others who have wronged me, and to seek forgiveness from others whom I have wronged.
I also seek to thank God for these situations—as doing so digs out the roots of bitterness in my life, roots I did not even realize were taking hold of my heart and my life, until God began doing some Spring Cleaning in my life.
I think God has been desiring to do this Spring Cleaning in my life, for a long time, but I have been putting this off for a long time–just as I put off the Spring Cleaning in my home, because I don’t like it. However, I love the end result of Spring Cleaning. I love finding things in my closet. I love finding things in my house. I love a good, cleaned and organized, visually beautiful home.
We are God’s temple. He lives inside of each of us. When we allow Him to give us a “Spring Cleaning”, we really reflect Him. We reflect His love and forgiveness for others. We reflect His eternal priorities and perspectives. We reflect His generosity and grace. We shine–because He is shining through us.
I encourage all of us, to take some time with the Lord and allow Him to point out the areas where only He can go, to sweep out the cobwebs, and shine all the lights–to get rid of the roots of bitterness–and wash away the sins of unforgiveness. It may be painful at first, but afterwards–”it yields the peaceful fruit of His righteousness.” Hebrews 12:11
Jesus wants to do some Spring Cleaning–and He is really good at it!! He is just waiting for us to give Him the keys to our homes.
May We Be Encouraged!!