Guys, I have something to say, a confession to make. I shove things in closets. And under the bed.
You know when you’re cleaning your room and you really just don’t want to deal with all the junk and finding a place for it all will take way too much time? I don’t know what you guys do when you’re in such a situation, but I totally just throw that stuff in my closet or push it all under my bed. Because I totally do not want to go through the struggle of finding a proper place to keep stuff. So I hope you get where I’m coming from. I mean, I can’t be the only one who does that? I don’t know. But yeah, I think that most people would agree that my tendency to throw things in closets, under beds, and any other places they don’t belong is a problem.
Well, this habit doesn’t only apply to my room cleaning strategy, but also to my relationship with Jesus. Even when I know there is something, or many things holding me back from a close relationship with Him, I decide just to act like there’s nothing wrong. I convince myself that me and Jesus are good, and there’s no cleaning to be done, no changes that need to be made. And that couldn’t be further from the truth. Instead of dealing with the problems and sin in my life, I toss those things aside and pretend like I can have a nice relationship with the Lord. Well, newsflash Holly: you cant be close to Jesus without dealing with the things keeping you from Him first. You’d think that’d be common sense, but yeah, common sense and I aren’t always the best of friends. So, instead of dealing with that sin, and those things keeping me from Him, I become too afraid of the pain it will cause and the time it will consume to deal with those things keeping me back from Jesus. Even as I write this, I see that I have done this over and over again many times in life. There are a few things I keep choosing to ignore, and they are damaging my relationship with Jesus. And sometimes I just look and say, “Wow, Jesus how’d you get so far away?” Silly me. Jesus didn’t go anywhere. I ran away. And instead of dealing with the problems I said, “Yeah, me and Jesus, we’re great. Doing just fine, thank you. No problems today.” And I have been so, so wrong. I need to stop ignoring all the things stopping me from closeness with Jesus and really examine where I am. Really take a look at those things keeping me from Him and deal with them. It’s crazy how I just can’t get away from Jesus. Every time I’m going through the day thinking He and I are just fine, but really paying no attention to Him whatsoever, He just shows up and gets all up in my thoughts and I can’t get away. Like seriously, I keep running into Him, and that is no mistake. So, no matter the pain, no matter the hurt and the work it takes to rid myself of these things that keep me from Him, I will do it.
In Luke, we see the story of the prodigal son, a boy who took his inheritance, ran away, and squandered it all. But when he came to his senses, he wanted to return home. But before he could do that, he thought he’d put together a nice speech for his father. He wanted to have it all together before he came home. But before he could say anything, the father came running and threw his arms around him. He couldn’t finish his speech because his father stopped him and threw a party. Because his son came home. And the father did not need an attempt from his son to try to make things right or clean it up. He saw him coming home, and he welcomed him with open arms.
So, if you’re dealing with a bunch of junk in your life that you keep throwing in the closet or under the bed, I promise you do not have to try to clean everything up before you come to the Father. He just wants brokenness. He wants you to come home and admit that you really suck at trying to get it all together yourself. Because you do. And so do I. So don’t throw it in a closet or under a bed, but come to Him broken. Dealing with sin and things in your life keeping you from Jesus will take time, and it won’t be easy, but it is far better than living away from Him and lying to yourself about your relationship with Him.
He also said: “A man had two sons. The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the estate I have coming to me.’ So he distributed the assetsto them. Not many days later, the younger son gathered together all he had and traveled to a distant country, where he squandered his estate in foolish living. After he had spent everything, a severe famine struck that country, and he had nothing. Then he went to work forone of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. He longed to eat his fill fromthe carob pods the pigs were eating, but no one would give him any. When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired hands have more than enough food, and here I am dying of hunger! I’ll get up, go to my father, and say to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight. I’m no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired hands.’ So he got up and went to his father. But while the son was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion. He ran, threw his arms around his neck, and kissed him. The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight. I’m no longer worthy to be called your son.’
“But the father told his slaves, ‘Quick! Bring out the best robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Then bring the fattened calf and slaughter it, and let’s celebrate with a feast, because this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!’ So they began to celebrate.