My Heart, Christ's Home
This week I've been reviewing an older book entitled, My Heart, Christ's Home, by Robert Munger
It's an illustrated story about Jesus walking individually with us through our home. (heart) He journeys through each room, of your house giving recommendations as how you could make some subtle changes. When I read the section about the Hall Closet, something grabbed my attention.
This last month I was a guest in a home and I remember how she used to always have her pantry neat and tidy. I asked if I could have a quick peak....and she opened the doors. These photos give you an idea of how neat and orderly her pantry is kept. She then delighted to tell me how she has used her mother's doilies as pantry liners. She prefers to do a quick inventory monthly which helps her avoid stress over messy closets. I'm not so sure that I would be ready to invite my guests to see my closets and pantries. I know that I like to go through my closets thoroughly about once a year, while taking out the rubbish, washing them down and cleaning them up.
But in this story Jesus pointed out that he knew there was something rotting in the closet. It was time that these things had to be cleaned out. I think I would of been rather embarrassed at this point and yet Jesus kindly helped this person recognize that he would give the strength and support needed to help clean out the putrid smell. Jesus said, "Please give me the key." Reluctantly, the key was passed to Jesus and He removed the putrefying stuff and threw it away. Then He cleansed the closet, painted it, fixed it all up in a moment's time. Immediately a fresh fragrant breeze swept through the entire house. The whole atmosphere changed. No matter what sin big or small or what pain there might be in our past, Jesus is ready to forgive, to heal and to make whole when we give him the key.
I can often identify with this heart cleansing system. It feels like you just finished dealing with one issue and then another room is dusty all over again. So the key is to ask God to manage our house by making God the owner and master of the house while we become the servants.
I think the reality of this illustration is that we become like a working pantry, always needing to be aware of God clearing our minds of unworthy thoughts, keeping our minds busy with learning worthwhile thoughts. By coming before God daily, we can be inspired by good and uplifting thoughts. When we find ourselves with that putrid smell, we know that the act of repentance is just like soap; it can wash away our sin and sometimes we need the strong detergent of discipline to get the stains out of the 'ground-in dirt' but they will come out.
I love the words in the Living Bible, "And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts, living within you as you trust in him. May your roots go down deep in the soil of God's marvelous love." Ephesians 3:17
May you be encouraged this week as you clean your closets that you can never be lost to God's love.