This week I decided to tackle cleaning the back porch. It was truly a mess! In fairness, I must say that we’ve been having some work done on the house, so naturally there was dust and debris, a few tools and empty caulking tubes laying about. Items had been stored on the porch and needed to be returned to the shed; other items needed to be washed, and the floor certainly needed a good sweeping.
Motivated for the task at hand, I set to work feeling rather jovial. However, after a good while of moving items, sweeping and washing, I stood back to take a look at my progress and — good grief! It was worse than when I began! What I thought would take maybe an hour, actually took half the day! I determined to stay with the job until all was looking good. When everything was thoroughly cleaned, and misplaced items back in proper places, the result made me feel that the effort was worth it. What a lovely porch to sit in, sipping coffee, enjoying the country view.
Can you remember times when you came to God and asked Him to clean up your life? You truly meant it! Your desire to trust your heavenly Father was strong. You gave yourself wholly to Him to begin making you like Him. The cleaning up of the house of your life began. Your Heavenly Father would go into every room, throwing away all that did you no good, sweeping away the dirt of all sin, polishing you to the point that the Light of the world — His Son — could shine through you, encouraging others to also give themselves wholly to Father.
But wait…it isn’t exactly all that easy, is it. Do you ever find that you have the desire, but not the patience? We want to be made like Jesus — and please make me like Him now! What we think will take but a prayer to do the job, is actually a daily activity of keeping ourselves surrendered to the holy cleansing of our heavenly Father. He does a thorough job. He searches our hearts and minds, dusting and washing, removing and repairing, daily making us a little more like Jesus than we were the day before.
I’ve enjoyed our clean back porch this week, but guess what? It’s already very dusty — again! I need to get the broom out. Next week and the week after, I will need to do the same to keep everything as it should be.
It’s no different in our walk with God. We get dirty feet walking around in the world. Our minds get cluttered with debris that makes concentrating on the things of God very difficult. Our hearts become tainted with unnecessary items of anger and bitterness, perhaps jealousy or arrogance. Those items need to be swept out and tossed away. Sometimes we may think to ignore the debris and unwanted items might not be all that bad. However, one day of unswept dirt just brings on more dirt the next day and the next.
Let’s not ignore the rooms in the house of our lives that need cleansing. Your heavenly Father is always ready to do His holy sweeping, and when He does, you’ll feel so much better! It’s not a one time only decision. My back porch needs regular cleaning; so does my life!
A wonderful daily prayer is found in Psalm 51:10: “Create in me a clean heart, Oh God, and renew a right spirit within me.”