As I looked out the window this morning, I saw the garbage cans. Driving to and from the library, I saw more. Most of them overflowing with bags of garbage needing to be carried away, especially in these hot summer days of Tennessee.
It brought to mind my own garbage. And I tried not to think of it. For who likes to think of garbage, after all? The awfulness that results from not getting rid of it is repulsive. Stench, mold, drainage, and the worst are the maggots. All reasons to stay on top of the garbage duties.
Today, with each overflowing can, the Lord kept bringing my own garbage to my mind. Not the stinky garbage of our household, but the garbage that I hold much closer. You know--all the little struggles and hurts that happen over time. Things that you live through and develop little bitternesses to. So easy to overlook, like the occasional wrapper or crumbs, but that accumulate into a bitter or angry soul.
So often, upon coming through the trials, I feel that I have learned my lesson. And maybe I have. Maybe it was the wrong one. Each time I become a little harder inside, determining that I won't be hurt that way again. Dropping a wrapper of anger or a crumb of bitterness behind the furniture in my life, but not recognizing it for what it is, I walk on to face whatever is next.
Not until the Lord points out the garbage heap inside, that is teeming with rottenness, do I see what I have allowed myself to become. A garbage can, overflowing with anger, bitterness and discontent. With disgust, I look away from what I am.
How much better to take time to hand that garbage over to the Lord regularly. He is always ready to take it when we offer it---removing it from our lives and leaving clean vessels that are fit to be used. Instead we run around wondering why the Lord doesn't use us more, and never noticing the stench coming from our own hearts.
In His mercy, He allows us glimpses into ourselves from the mirror of His Word---The Holy Spirit inside, waiting patiently. For He will not take what we do not offer.
May I learn to pray like David, "cleanse thou me from secret faults." (Ps.19:12) Over and over through Scripture we see the Lord shining His light on the secret sins, and bringing conviction to the hearts of the recipients of that light. I am no different.
The Lord Jesus died for my garbage. I do not want to hold onto the rottenness that cost Him everything. If we will only humble ourselves before Him and ask Him to show us what needs to go, He will point it out. Scary thought. Why does parting with the garbage seem so painful? Yet it does. We become attached to our sick little sins, hidden away inside. We become so unhealthy, filled with these things.
How much better off would we be if we would just let go. Then we could wholeheartedly say the words of Psalm 32:1-5:
"Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile. When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me; my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah."
"I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah."
Show me, Lord, the garbage in my life and help me to let go of it, for you have so much more in store for me. Thank you for the mirror you continue to shine at my heart. Let me see the sin in me, as You do.