Confession: I love to vacuum. Weird, I know. It's just that in order to vacuum, you have to put things away and so instead of a little path of toys to walk through I can actually see the whole floor. And it's clean! Well, if you don't count the 346 stains on the carpet. (The state of our carpet is a serious source of pride for me. Confession #2.) We recently got a new vacuum, one of those with the clear cylinder parts that holds all of your disgusting dirt that you can immediately dump into the trash and think, "Wow, we were living in total filth!" I love it and hate it all at the same time.
As I was vacuuming today and enjoying the hum that was drowning out steady bickering of my sweet children, God had a word for me. I felt him whisper into my heart, "What about the dirt that is hiding in the places that people don't see?" You see, we are often quick to "clean up" the things in our lives that are obvious and noticeable to others. Or sometimes maybe we don't really clean those things but just make it look like is perfectly tidy. (Anyone can pretend they have a great marriage for the hour and a half they are at a church service, right?) I don't know about you, but I do have some unattended dirt that I've let go uncleaned because it is in the corner of a closet somewhere. Nobody will look in there, so why should I deal with it? The thing is, God knows it is there. I know it is there. As much as I can pretend that my whole house is clean, if I've got filth under the bed or in the closets somewhere...it isn't.
So what is this unattended dirt? It is different for everyone. Maybe it's an addiction that has been justified over and over. Maybe it is unforgiveness of someone in our past. Maybe it is regret over paths not taken or words that can't be taken back. God knows. And His love is big enough to clean it all. His Son already paid the price for our sins...even the ones we've shoved way under the bed.
Why does it matter? One of the "dirty" places I've ignored is a situation that is 10 years in the past. I don't even talk with the people involved anymore. So can't I let it just go? Can't I just leave it there in the past? Maybe it won't always involve going to those people and seeking forgiveness, maybe it will. But confession and resolution with the Lord needs to happen in order for me to live in victory. That is the ultimate prize! And victory in Jesus lasts forever...much much much longer than my freshly vacuumed floors stay clean.
Is it time to do some Spring cleaning? Clear out those closets, dust in the corners, go deep under the bed and find peace, mercy, and grace from the Lord!