“Search me O God, and know my heart; test my thoughts. Point out anything you find in me that makes you sad, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” (Psalms 139: 23-24)
This is the season of spring cleaning. That time when men clean their garages and shops so that they can easily find and get to the lawn mower, the weed eater, the edger and the other tools of summer. It is the season when we women dig a little deeper into the care the house. Blinds and curtains are cleaned and walls are washed down. Windows and screens are free of cobwebs and the scum of the winter; they have a spotless glow about them. The stage is set for the glorious and wonderful seasons of spring and summer.
But there is another kind of spring cleaning that we should care about: the spring cleaning within us that begins with the head and ends with the heart.
“I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.” Ephesians 1: 18-19a
We need to clean away resentment, anger, envy, self-pity and hopelessness from the windows of our hearts and replace them with a heart that is filled with forgiveness, acceptance and empowerment. We need hearts that respond to God’s gift of salvation – his enormous gift of love –with gratitude, praise, joyfulness and service. We need hearts that not only seek to please ourselves but to serve others with kindness, goodness and joy. We need to prepare our hearts for new seasons of doing the very best we can with what we have been blest with from where we are right now. “This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
“Fix your thoughts on what is true and good and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely, and dwell on the fine, good things in others. Think about all you can praise God for and be glad about. Keep putting into practice all you learned from me and saw me doing and the peace of God will be with you.” Philippians 4: 8-9
What we put into our minds determines what comes out in our words and in our actions. And the greatest sources for helping us stay mentally fit are prayer and God’s Word. They are designed to help us. Oh, it will take practice and commitment but they definitely promise to give us hope, peace, contentment, joy and strength. Tim Hansel calls this commitment “Holy Sweat.”
So, I invite you this week to join me in Spring Cleaning our hearts and minds.
Remember God can only meet us in our loneliest and neediest places. No one else can love us as He does, forgive us as He does, and be the Friend to us that He can. And when in doubt with your spring cleaning, follow the manufacturer’s directions for your life. You’ll find them in the Bible.
Prayer: Gracious and loving God, help me with the spring cleaning of my heart and mind. Let me see your world with your eyes. Give me a clear vision of your plan for my life and what you would have me be doing with all that you have given me: time, money, resources, all of me. Give me a heart that does not keep track of the wrongs but seeks to open doors of forgiveness and love and hope. Give me a heart for the journey that lies ahead of me and a thankful heart for all of your wonderful gifts to me. Thank you for the most wonderful gift of all: being my Savior making me your child. In times of trouble and sorrow, hold me close to you. Give me the gifts I need to be your touch, your hands and your help in a world that needs you. For this day and your endless forgiveness and grace, I give you thanks. In your precious name I pray. Amen