A couple of weeks ago I received a challenge from FlyLady.net to clean out my garbage cans. I mean really get them scrubbed inside and out. So I took on the challenge and lined up all my garbage cans outside and got a few cleaning tools to get started. I honestly had never done this before, so as you can see my cans were quite dirty; especially on the inside.
I had wiped down the outside of the cans before, after all that’s what everyone sees. As I began my cleaning journey I needed a few tools for the job: rubber gloves, dish detergent, scrubbing brush and water hose.
I started by putting a little bit of water and dish detergent in the bottom of each can and letting it sit for a minute to loosen gunk on the bottom. Then I began scrubbing the insides with my scrub brush. I then dumped the water and rinsed the inside of the cans. In a couple of the cans I found things that were stuck to the bottom. I am pretty sure my main kitchen garbage can had gum stuck on the bottom that had been there for years. When I could not get the gum off of the bottom I had to bring out the more powerful product called GOOF OFF which after a short time of scrubbing with the chemical solvent I was finally able to get the gum off.
As I was cleaning and thinking of what a disgusting job this was, God reminded me of some verses I have read:
He lifts the poor from the dust
and the needy from the garbage dump.
He sets them among princes,
even the princes of his own people! Pslam 113:7-8
You see at one time all of us were poor & needy(in spirit) and we all lived in this garbage dump we call the world. We needed to be rescued from the garbage dump and didn’t even realize it. Yet God in His love and sovereignty chose us and lifted us up out of the garbage dump and set us among the princes of his own people.
And just like I cleaned out those garbage cans from the inside out, He has done the same thing with us. We can keep up appearances for a while by keeping the outside wiped down and presentable, but eventually the inside needs to be washed too. When Jesus first became Lord of my life, he had a lot of cleaning up to do. My insides weren’t pretty and there was plenty of gum and gunk stuck there that needed to be scraped away.
What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy full of greed and self-indulgence! You blind Pharisee! First wash the inside of the cup and the dish, and then the outside will become clean, too. Matthew 23:25-27
I am so thankful that Jesus promises to do the yucky part of cleaning us from the inside out. If only we will come to him and allow him to do the work. He will lovingly urge us to clean out the gunk: cussing, drunkenness, gluttony, discontentment, gossiping, cheating, lying, self-indulging- you name it, He can clean it up if we let him.
It felt really good to get those garbage cans good and clean from the inside out. Now when I go to take out the garbage- I don’t cringe at what I see beyond the garbage bag. So before the weather turns too cold, why don’t you grab your cans and get to scrubbing. While you are doing it, thank the Lord he has rescued you from the garbage dump and that you will have a seat among the princes of His people someday. And if you have not yet repented and surrendered your life to Him, why not do that today too and let the cleaning of the gunk begin!
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