Spring is here and it is my favorite time of year. The birds chirp early in the morning causing me to feel as if I am in a Disney movie, the smell of freshly cut crass is in the air, the weather is the perfect temperature, butterflies flutter by to show off their beautiful wings, humming birds find their way to feeders, and the sun is out to play for just a little longer each day! Needless to say, I LOVE SPRING! I feel as if it is a breath of fresh air from the harsh winter months. I can finally enjoy nature for all that it provides and not be stuck in a house all of the time.
Aside from the nature side of Spring, another part of spring that makes me extremely excited is the cleaning aspect of it…you guessed it…SPRING CLEANING!!! I love purging the house of all of the junk and making it look fresh, free of clutter. I get such a high when I see toys that the kids no longer use given away, clothes that don’t fit passed on to someone who can use them, and all of the paper trash that no longer belongs burned (Ha, I am a closet pyromaniac), recycled, or thrown away. Some people get excited about the season finally of the Walking Dead, I get over the moon thrilled about getting things organizing and getting my house “spit shinning clean.” Seriously, when it is all done—I am certain the hallelujah chorus is shouting praise in my midst…it’s glorious!
About a month ago (Yes, it has taken me this long to write about this…I have been without a computer) I scheduled a week to clean the house from top to bottom. Once I almost finished I got this gentle nudge from the Holy Spirit. He asked the question deep within me, “Why don’t you treat yourself this way?” I was taken back by His question at first and He took it a step further by continued, “And I am not saying just once a year but all of the time, daily. Purging yourself of all that is not of me.”
This may not make sense to you, but to me it made perfect sense because during that time I had really been dealing with anger for whatever reason. Somehow it creeped into my life just like all of the filth and the junk that makes its way into our houses on a yearly basis. Anger had taken root into my life without me even realizing it. All of the sudden instead of approaching my husband and kids with patience I was dealing with them with wrath and annoyance. I was angry and irritable all of the time.
The bible calls us to pay close attention to this warning in Hebrews 12: 15, “Make sure that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no root of bitterness springs up, causing trouble and by it, defiling many (HCSB).” The second definition in the Webster dictionary for bitterness is, “anger and disappointment at being treated unfairly; resentment,” which is exactly the emotion I was dealing with…anger. But what if you don’t deal with anger? There are so many different things that can creep its way into our spirits, our lives and cause problems; which is why I take you to the first definition of bitterness. Webster defines bitterness as, “sharpness of taste; lack of sweetness.” Some synonyms are: “tartness, sourness, harshness.”
You may not deal with anger (Let’s face it I know all of us do at some point in life) but honestly according the definition of bitterness, this scripture could me ANYTHING in our lives that brings about tartness, sourness, harshness; lack of sweetness to our souls. We have to be careful to not let things come into our lives and stuff our lives full of things that are not of God and belong to the enemy. Whether that be an attitude, a sin, a new habit…we have to be on guard. We need to be in constant prayer. We need to be looking and asking God daily, “What is in my life is not of your character, is not of you? What in my life is not only corrupting me but those around me? God, what has made its way into my family that is causing discord. God, please help me to rid myself of these things and be more aware of how the enemy is trying to take over in my life.”
We are so careful to tend to our bodies and makes sure that they are clean and looking good. We are careful to make sure that the food in our fridge is fresh so that no one gets sick from eating bad, spoiled food. We are quick to get rid of clothes so that we can buy new ones because we like shopping (I am totally talking to myself here). We are even quick to look at other people and figure out all that they could change or get out of their lives to be better…OUCH! But friends, we have got to be more careful about the bad things that we allow to come into our lives because when they make their home in our hearts and make roots in our souls…they become toxic. So, let’s do ourselves, our families, our friends, and our God a favor and daily purge ourselves of all of the junk that doesn’t need to be in our lives so that we can be the flourishing, beautiful beings that God created us to be.