I like a clean house. But, as I grow older, it seems to take me longer.
“Create in me a new, clean heart, O God, filled with clean thoughts and right desires”—Psalm 51:10 (TLB).
What used to take me three to four hours on a Saturday morning, now takes all day—and then some. I attribute it to my wandering mind, or should I say forgetfulness. Here’s how it works. I start in one room, usually the master bath, with intentions of working my way from north to south.
However, while wiping the bathroom mirrors clean, I remember something I need to do in the kitchen, like thawing a frozen chicken for my supper. After taking care of that task, I see something else that needs doing while I’m there. I notice the trash is overflowing, so I remove the bag and deliver it outside to the garbage can. (Some of you can probably relate.)
By the time I return to the master bath, I’ve wasted time. It also requires me to refocus on my original task. Now where did I put that bottle of Windex?
Cleaning out the Unnecessary
In the process of a recent house cleaning, I decided to go through cabinets, drawers and closets to rid myself of things taking up space. I’m blessed with an abundance of storage in my house. I’m also a coupon clipper and redeem them to stockpile items I need before the coupons expire.
As I removed, examined and considered the necessity of each acquisition stored away, I was amazed at the outdated and partially-used products, as well as those items I no longer needed. I even questioned why I’d made some of the purchases in the first place.
Because I have a love/hate relationship with my naturally curly hair, it also leads to trying new products and styling tools. When they don’t work as I’d hoped, I try something else. At least once a year, this leads to purging those things taking up valuable space.
Purging Our Spirits
King David was anointed by God when he was a mere youngster. He was considered a man after God’s own heart. In Acts 13:22, we read the following: “After removing Saul, he made David their king. God testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’”
David loved the Lord, but he wasn’t perfect. As recorded in 2 Samuel 11:2-5, David committed adultery and murder. He had sinned against God and after denying it, finally admitted his when confronted by Nathan. After his admission of guilt, David not only sought forgiveness, He repented. Psalm 51 is his prayer of repentance to God.
“Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin!” (Psalm 51:1–2).
His Mercies Are New Each Morning
Lamentations 3:22-23 brings comfort, as well as hope. It reads: “It is only the Lord’s mercies that have kept us from complete destruction. Great is his faithfulness; his loving-kindness begins afresh each day.”
Each morning, after making a pot of hot tea, I spend time reading and meditating on scripture. Examining my life through God’s eyes requires time alone with Him. Sometimes, I don’t like what He reveals. I recall hasty decisions, unkind thoughts and a judgmental attitude.
Immediately, Psalm 51:10 comes to mind. Praying aloud, I ask God for forgiveness. I repent of my sins and begin anew. However, it’s an ongoing need for His cleansing that leads me back to the foot of the cross each day. “Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew my spirit. Let the desires of my heart please you.”