Sometimes it is a struggle to keep on top of housework. I enjoy having a tidy home so that when people drop in for a visit,I am not ashamed. A lot of things that I do are surface cleaning. I breeze through the house and use the featherduster and keep the dishes in the dishwasher changed out so that all looks really clean as well as a lot of small chores.
We have hardwood floors with a large area rug in our 1929 era home. I spot clean that monster every now and again. It is a cream color with pink roses on it. I thought I had been doing a pretty good job on it until I got a really crazy idea. (DO NOT DO THIS AT HOME.)
I vacuumed the rug and spot cleaned it, as usual, then I carried it to the deck outside and rinsed it with a water hose! Oh my goodness! The grime that surfaced was unimaginable. I stomped on it in the way I saw Lucy of ‘I love Lucy’ when she stomped grapes. There was more and more dirty water!
I scooted my feet across the surface and tried to wring it out that way, but it still looked dirty. While I was in the middle of all of this, I remembered that it was really supposed to be dry cleaned. I was in over my head. It was my fault.
Some people may think my prayers tend to be silly, but I tell you, I prayed about this mistake I made. I also phoned my husband and told him of this infraction. He laughed and told me that we could take it to the car wash and power wash it there in the back of the pickup truck. While I was glad that he had a workable idea, I was too ashamed for anyone who might be at the carwash in our small town to see what I had done. (Can you relate?)
I hung the heavy wet mess over the rail of the deck and prayed that it wouldn’t look like a dirty dog when it dried. It certainly looked like a dirty wet dog at the time I hung it out. It rained that night. We hadn’t gotten any rain all summer. Oh well…
The next day, I peeked out the sliding glass door. It looked okay. When I touched it, it was dry. I lugged it into the living room and put it on the floor. It was ruffled around the edges…just a little. After I anchored the worst of the ruffles down with a coffee table, the rest looked like it might smooth out with the vac. After I ran the vac over it, there were a couple of ruffles, but it wasn’t bad. It felt a little “crunchy” instead of soft, but it looked okay.
What on earth does this have to do with God? I have to tell you that I am a simple woman. God uses these kinds of things to teach me a lesson. Hang in there with me, please.
While I was going through this mess that I created for myself, I thought of all the times I tried to clean myself up on the inside. I made promises to myself and others that I would be more patient, more kind, more loving, more forgiving…and the list goes on. That was like ‘spot cleaning’ myself. The spots ran deeper than the surface.
The Bible says that our own righteousness is like filthy rags. I can identify with that. If we compare ourself with other people, we might look pretty good, but when we get closer to God, we see that we fall so short of clean. When we realize that we cannot do this for ourselves and place ourselves into His hands, He pulls us to His side and covers us with His robe of righteousness so that our sins are covered.
Psalms 51:7b Wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.
In church this past Sunday, our pastor brought out the fact that in order to not become polluted by the things around us, we must keep full of God. An artisian well springs out and even flood waters will not corrupt it because fresh water is flowing out of it at all times.
God is the manufacturer of the joy, peace, patience, and all the good things that spring up out of us. If we allow Him to be this wellspring of life in us, there is no need to ‘spot clean’. I am so glad that I don’t have to do this on my own.