Jane Phinney |
With the arrival of Spring, I’m always motivated to purge our physical lives of any unnecessary, worn-out, or no longer used items. In our home, this means switching out closets, inventorying the basement, & reassessing maintenance needs, in total, before summer commences. It’s 80 outside today, so it doesn’t seem all that far away. The temperatures fuel my motivation to “git’er done!” 😊
I grew up with a fascination for closets. My grandparents had intriguing attics in their old houses. With permission, I would often go explore the upstairs rooms offering glimpses to the past. I loved the wallpaper & the furniture, as well as revisiting the familiar things that were tied to my life. And, it went without saying that I would leave the premises in the same condition in I which I found it. My own childhood attic ran the entire length of our upstairs. In addition to reminders of family history, it stored items we often used. So, we all knew exactly what went where! And why. The system made sense & made the search easier.
During my sorting adventure this week, I was struck with the thought that closets & attics are much like our hearts. They have doors, although that doesn’t necessarily mean they are visible, initially. Some closets are locked & require a key (permission) to gain entry. Generally, that key is given only to those with whom a trusting relationship has been built-- over time. When a closet door is opened, the natural inclination is to turn on the light, which reveals the depth of the room, it’s contents & its dark corners.
Our lives are a compilation of personal history that forms our life story. We store those treasured chapters in our hearts…our personal hiding place. The details that formed our self-perception can be filed, boxed, or simply stuffed into a corner of our soul. Some folks wear their hearts on their sleeves, so to speak. What you see is what you get. Their closet doors are open & some have no doors at all. You are free to roam in your discovery of how they became who they are. Others barely let you get your foot through a crack in the door. There is little communication freedom & no sign that welcomes you to look through the files, open the boxes, or rummage through the messy piles in corners.
I learned a long time ago that the best of human intentions has limitations. We are imperfect people living in an imperfect world. We aren’t designed by God to carry the weight of all that life dishes out, by ourselves. There’s no such thing as a human who won’t let you down at some juncture in life. At first glance, I tend to be more reserved, preferring to observe facial expressions & physical reactions. This tells me a lot about what might be inside a closet of the heart. Personally, I’m put off by pushy, outspoken people who try to bang down my door & barge in. So I try to be considerate, as best I know how, in tactfully waiting to be asked in.
There is only ONE 100% safe relationship that I know of. That is the result of an ever- increasing intimacy of knowing the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior, Lord & Life. The Bible is inexhaustible in its proof of God’s loving plan & purposes for our lives. The more I read it for comfort & study it to gain understanding, the more I know by confirmed life experience, that I am powerless to help myself. Jeremiah 10:23 says that we don’t even know what’s best for us. In His kindness, God leads us to repentance (Acts 4:19, Romans 2:4). He forgives us first (Ps 130:4, Ephesians 4:12). He gave Jesus to us out of love (John 3:16) & we can’t truly love separate from abiding in Him (I John 4:7-21). God can be trusted because He does NOT lie (Numbers 23:19, Hebrews 6:18), He doesn’t accept bribes or show partiality (Deut.10:17), and He doesn’t change (Malachi 3:6). THAT is particularly comforting to me! He collects our tears (Ps 56:8), hears our prayers (Ps 65:2), & carries our burdens (Matthew 11:28-30).
The Lord Jesus can be trusted with the key to the door of your heart. He calls you & then waits, because He isn’t pushy. His love breaks down any fear, or resistance, to the offer of salvation through the indwelling Spirit…yours for the believing & receiving. He “turns on the light” to reveal your struggles, pain, & the lies you’ve believed. In the security of His love & forgiveness, you will be empowered to face what you’ve denied. It’s a process. But then, & only then, can He faithfully sort through your files, gently open & heal the hidden boxes of secrets, & free you from the encumbrance of the messy piles in the dark corners. “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has SET YOU FREE from the law of sin & death.”(Romans 8:1&2) Will you give Him your key?