Monday, December 12, 2011
At my age I think it is safe to confess that I am not a good housekeeper. Oh, I have my moments, but they are few and usually involve a lot of music and a lot of changing things around or cleaning something out and establishing new order. Those times are a little like sudden storms of energy.
On a daily basis my home is scattered with words. Papers here, magazines there, books piled on every flat surface and pictures hanging around waiting for me to do something with them. The rest of the clutter shall remain untold, but you can get the picture, I’m sure. I believe that things I use frequently should be kept handy, one way or another.
But what does that have to do with God? Well… It’s been a long week. Last week at this time I was held accountable. Someone who loves me took me to task for a burst of anger that I didn’t even remember. I am very good at dropping some memories into a well hidden place and just getting on with life. I praise God that this is an old ingrained habit that can be worked on as needed, and not a new one. I keep hoping that I can say, “I don’t need to work on that anymore because I don’t do it anymore.” Well, we all know that won’t happen in this life. But we also know that God expects us to grow closer and closer to Him so that He can help us grow farther and farther away from the need to follow old habits while we replace them with new ones, as in “put on” (God) and “put off” (those things not Godly.)”
Sometimes we need to be held accountable for our actions so that we are driven to search our hearts for hidden grudges and irritations. We need to “clean out the closet," changing things around, throwing some things out and making room for more necessary things that work for our good and His.
Recently, a study we ladies are doing, brought us to the place where Leah, Rebecca’s older sister and first wife of Jacob, laid aside her pride and jealousy which kept her distant from God. This even though He had blessed her richly in ways that Jacob could not. With the birth of Judah, she finally bowed her knee and proclaimed thanks that God had indeed blessed her with her sons. She became humble before Him and quit trying to make her husband love her and gave control of her life to God.
Some say this was not a real repentance and humbling because she returned to the same feelings and selfish prayers later on. Consider how many of us have repented of sins that we end up repeating. Leah was not “cured of herself” by her repentance. She would always be Leah and it was Leah that God loved. But she was weak for evidence of someone’s love and came back to struggling to make Jacob love her. I believe her repentance was genuine. I also know from personal experience that repentance does not achieve perfection. It achieves forgiveness and open communication with God that will help us fall into our own traps with much less frequency. The more hidden secrets we remove from our “heart” closet, the more room there is for the Grace of God to grow us into the “Leah” or “Cheryl” that He wants us to be. May God grow you well. And may He do the same for me as I limp along in this sinful body on this sinful earth. And may those who love us step up to keep us accountable.