Posted by: glorifyhim1 | December 3, 2012

Cleaning Up for Christmas

 

It’s that time again – time to clean up for Christmas! It’s time to dust, vacuum, and scrub every inch –  including those areas I usually skip or try to hide – and then drag out all those boxes filled with Christmas decorations, tree ornaments, and everything pertaining to Christmas! I’m almost there except for a few places I’ve still managed to skip or hide, but now I’m stuck. And this is where I get stuck every year. What do I take down in order to put up Christmas?

You see, my husband’s job is different. He twists garland, ribbon, and lights around the porch posts. He drapes the tree in the yard with lights and secures the electrical cord so no one will trip on it. He even pulls out the wooden reindeer he made last Christmas, gives them a fresh coat of white paint, and stations them in the yard by the magnolia tree. He’s finished. He’s ready for Christmas.

I, on the other hand, am sitting with my boxes, staring at our small living room and dining room and trying to decide what to take down so that I can put up Christmas. There’s not enough room to add Christmas decorations to shelves and tabletops already heavily-laden with photos, whatnots, books, and special treasures and momentos. While my husband essentially adds light, color, and warmth to an empty, wintry yard; I have to take down and make room before I can fill our house with Christmas.

I can’t help but wonder. Do I have to do the same thing with my heart?  Is my heart like the clean, well-kept yard that lies open and ready to receive the light, color, and warmth of Christmas? Or is it cluttered just like my shelves and tabletops? Are there thoughts, attitudes, or emotions that need to be dealt with so that I can fully receive the light of my Savior shining in my heart and life?

I’ve learned over the years that it doesn’t take long for the shelves and tabletops in our house to become cluttered and filled – and not always with treasures. Sometimes it’s just junk. And the same thing is true with our hearts. In addition to the heartfelt treasures we store there, we also harbor grudges and hurt feelings, heartaches and pain. We hold onto our unconfessed sin and nurse our wounds. God knows it’s there. We know it’s there, but we don’t do anything about it. Yet the only way to be free from all the junk is to surrender it to Christ – all of it – all the unconfessed sin, any hurts and heartaches, our suffering and pain, as well as our grudges and anger. We bring anything and everything to Him. His Word assures us that when we do, He will be there.

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 4:9).

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” (Psalm 147:3).

Once I have cleared out my shelves and tabletops and moved in Christmas, how good it feels. But that feeling is nothing compared to the joy and freedom we feel when we have laid bare our hearts and souls before God. As we shed the sin and all the cares that weigh us down, our hearts are swept clean just like that wintry yard and we are open and ready to receive the joy and wonder of Christmas as we revel in the light of Christ. Like the Psalmist we can exclaim: “You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness” (Psalm 31:11). Isn’t it great to get all cleaned up for Christmas?

 

“Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know” (Jeremiah 33:3).

 

 

 

 

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