I like to think that my house is clean and if walked through at any given point, you would agree. Truth be told, there are some nooks and crannies that I overlook on a weekly basis and mentally move it to next week’s tasks. Those weeks often turn into months as I try convincing myself the mess doesn’t exist.
One of those embarrassingly dirty places in my house is the garbage can. First of all, my garbage can is white which I don’t advise on any level. On the outside, it looks presentable enough but if you take out the bag you will likely cringe. It’s coated with small splatters of old food and pieces of wrappers have plastered themselves to the inside.
For a person who can’t stand “messy” I have trained myself to look past it every single time I take out the trash. Not only that, but I shove the new bag in as quickly as possible to cover it up. I’ve even gone as far as to disguise the odor with spray.
Recently, my husband took out a bag of garbage and noticed the mess (that in and of itself says something) and quickly took it upon himself to do the hard work of scrubbing it clean. He didn’t complain or make sharp warranted comments, he simply cleaned it up and put it back.
It spoke volumes to my heart and made me think about how this old dirty garbage can represent my spiritual life and relationships on so many levels.
My husband willingly cleaned up my mess. Just as he rolled up his sleeves and did the dirty work, the Lord enters into our mess too. He doesn’t leave us or forsake us. Nothing about our mess is too much for Him. He takes it on and cleans us up. He makes us new.
“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you…” Deuteronomy 31:8
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come; the old has gone, the new is here!” 2 Corinthians 5:17
I wasn’t judged or made to feel guilty. So often it’s easy to serve someone with a slight grudge. (hello pride) In the same way, God doesn’t begin to work in us with an air of annoyance. He is patient and kind.
“The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.” Psalm 145:8
My husband chose to deal with the issue instead of looking away. It’s easy to let little messes build up. At first, it doesn’t seem like much but over time, a seed of hurt can grow. When we chose to deal with the small things as they come, we avoid the potential disaster ahead.
He wasn’t fooled by the clean exterior. It’s easy to cover things up at first but after a while, it becomes exhausting. God looks at and cares most about the inside.
“…People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7
Do you have a garbage can like mine in your own life? Is there a mess accumulating little by little that could use some work? Will you allow the Lord into the mess so He can begin the work of cleaning it up?
“For by one sacrifice, he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.” Hebrews 10:14
Nicki (More of Nicki Behnke’s writings can be found at reallifeinreverse.blogspot.com)