Psalm 51:6- Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.
I remember growing up having to complete certain tasks before guests came over. It would take a family effort but I usually (not always) swept the stairs. These stairs were—and still are—wooden, collecting dirt and dust quite easily. So, I would begin at the top stair and work my way down. I would try to get in between the cracks and banisters. And in a continuous rhythm, I would sweep forward and backward and take a step down.
Foward and backward and take a step down.
Along the way, the dirt and dust traveled from the top stair to finally the bottom. And at the split-level, we had a small, rectangular rug in front of our door. Here, I paused, looked at the collected pile of dirt and dust, and was tempted to sweep it under the rug.
It would be much quicker this way and I could probably do it before my parents saw. What harm would this do? Nobody would see it, the rug would cover it up? Out of sight, out of mind. Right?
I often still have the same mindset as my younger self. Not in physical routines such as cleaning or tidying up before guests come. But in the spiritual routines surrounding my relational well-being with Jesus.
I’ve realized in my life I wasn’t taking enough steps but remained in a forward and backward rhythm. Collecting pride, unproductive habits, and much more in a pile of dirt and dust. How had this happened? How had my heart gotten so dark? I believe it was the consistency of sweeping pain and hurt under the rug. You know, the vulnerable stuff.
I became quite well at hiding this vulnerability in the dark rooms within myself. This lifestyle of shoving the mess in a secret room and locking the door became my comfort zone. All I had to do was hide the key from not only myself but also from God.
As if God fears my hurt and as if my doubts shake Him. As if I had the key to my inner heart, to begin with.
In hopes of shutting the door or dropping the rug to hide my mess, I was prideful. The idea of the truth in my pain was an embarrassment I dared never to reveal. Yet, it was the exact place my Jesus wanted to meet me in.
Although I was ashamed, He wasn’t.
Although I was embarrassed, He wasn’t.
Although I was afraid, He wasn’t.
While the mess of unrepented sin traveled from year to year, I finally reached the bottom. And I was faced by the Enemy’s temptation. Here, I paused, looked at my pile of dirt and dust, and offered it to my Father.
Journal Entry from August 7th, 2017:
God, I wonder why I don’t see You how some see You. Lord, if there is something in my heart, please unblock it. I want to know all You show, I don’t want to miss it because of my flesh…
Nearly a year ago, those words were written in the negative space I had created. My own unrepented sin had blocked me from living free in the Truth. As I was going forward and backward, I wasn’t moving—I was standing still in the filth. While I had attempted to sweep it under the rug, it was still there creating a nuisance.
Friend, I want you to be freed from your pile of dirt and dust. I want us to take steps together in the wisdom and with the Truth of God. Together, we can encourage each other to align our secret hearts by daily surrender to Him.
I want us to see Him.
I want us to know Him.
I don’t want us to miss Him because of our flesh.
Removing the rug and opening the door will sting. Reorganizing habits will be tiresome. Remodeling routines will take effort. Tearing down walls of defense and unbelief will be messy. Oh, but the before and after will be breathtaking.
Then, our heart’s rhythm will no longer be forward and backward, taking steps down. It will only be forward with our Jesus taking steps up.
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