Downsizing (Day 3 from Beside Still Waters)
Spiritual house cleaning can be difficult because God is trying to get to the core of what is causing hindrances in our walk with him, and sometimes it’s not what we want to face; however, he is a loving father who disciplines his children that they may receive his blessings. Hebrews 12:5 explains that we should “. . . not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; for whom the Lord loves He chastens . . .” (NKJB) As the weeks went by we were able to downsize our home into what we could move, and it gave me great pleasure to help carry our discarded items out. When it came time to set up the lake house I didn’t look back at all the things we weren’t able to take with us, but I will always remember that night in the library when God restored me into a vessel of honor, fit for the Master's use. That part of my past has now made me a stronger person, with a brighter future, and with a renewed sense of hope, I knew our latter years were going to be our best.
I saw a skit at a women’s retreat that was not only comical but had a very practical life lesson as well. As our speaker was being introduced we began to hear a lot of commotion from someone entering the room. People were whispering and turning to look to see what was going on. Then this woman emerged at the front of the room carrying several suitcases and dragging a few others that appeared to be tied together! As the speaker name was announced the suitcase lady approached the podium, suitcase in tow. She must have been speaking for ten minutes but I doubt if anyone in the room had heard a single word she said because we were all distracted by the entire hullabaloo going on with the suitcases every time she moved. Then things got quiet as she began to set all the suitcases down all around her, when she spoke again there was a tone of dismay in her voice as she said, “I’m just so tired of carrying all this extra baggage with me. No one sees me or hears me, all they see is my suitcases.” My friends, what do people see when you enter the room? When you speak do they hear you? Perhaps you’re like the woman in the skit. We all have it and believe me even if we don’t see it, others do. It comes out in a sarcastic tone when we speak, or a word was spoken under our breath that we don’t want anyone to hear. Perhaps it can be seen in our facial expressions or our body language, but it’s there. I would like you to make me a promise; that you would be honest with yourself about the extra baggage you are carrying around and that you would take some time to get alone with the Lord and allow him to take it from you. As hard as it was for me to go through the joy that came in the morning was so refreshing and I felt so free. That is what God wants to do for you, set you free from all those suitcases you’re carrying around. Let’s pray, Heavenly Father we come before you and ask that you bring to light all things that are keeping your children from experiencing your joy and freedom in their life. Remove the heavy burden that they carry inside hoping no one sees. Jesus prayed that his joy, not the joy of the world, but his joy would be their strength, but they can’t experience the fullness of that joy while carrying these burdens. So we thank you for the work you are about to do in their life and Lord we thank you for the joy that will await them in the morning. In Jesus' name, we pray.
Now, child of God, prepare yourself for blessings, you will not be able to contain, as you allow the joy of the Lord to shower over you like a gentle spring rain.