Deep Clean – by Jessie Lohnes
I’ve been doing a lot of deep cleaning lately. It began on the day I sent in my last assignment of the semester – the dust settled, I looked around, and did not like what I saw. I suddenly noticed countertops strewn with remnants of food and spilled spices, layers of dust resting on shelves, and clutter in every corner.
Let it be known that I’m not usually a messy person. But when I get hyper-focused on something (such as school or a project), everything else falls to the wayside. Unfortunately, the task(s) at hand often take precedence over a tidy home. As I was reflecting on what I was going to write about for this post, I was drawn to this particular storage closet that I had just finished cleaning the day before. I tore everything off the shelves, opened boxes I hadn’t opened in months, took inventory, threw things away (so many things!), and reorganized our belongings. Looking into that closet now, I feel so much better. I can see every box, I know where things are, and there is no clutter. I sincerely hope you have experienced this kind of relief/happiness/clarity in your life.
The neat and tidy closet that I had worked so hard on the day before made me think about my heart. When was the last time I looked into the dusty, dark corners of my heart? When was the last time I had taken inventory of the things my heart had accumulated over the years? When was the last time I had taken a figurative trash bag and thrown away all of the things that no longer served me, or junk that was never of any use?
I found bitterness sitting on a shelf. Trash. I found loneliness in a box on the floor. Trash. I found shame hanging on the wall. Trash. I even found a container of coping mechanisms that I didn’t really need anymore. Trash. Anger, negativity, fear, selfishness, all garbage. I took these figurative trash bags, carried them to the feet of Jesus and said, “here.” I’ve never been good at recycling anyway.
We’re not meant to carry trash around. You wouldn’t want to carry an empty candy wrapper around with you all day, let alone a giant trash bag. It makes for a heavy heart. Daily, give it to Jesus. Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you (Psalm 55:22), cast your anxiety on him because he cares for you (1 Peter 5:7), come to Jesus if you’re tired and he will give you rest (Matthew 11:28). Take regular inventory of your heart. If you find something that’s not supposed to be there, put it in a bag and take it to Jesus. He’ll know what to do with it.
Let the dust of your busy life settle for a moment. Just long enough for you and Jesus to take a look around your heart and do a bit of deep cleaning.