Friday, June 8, 2007

Hitting Rock Bottom

In my kitchen I have a drawer that we affectionately refer to as the “junk drawer”. When you open it up you’ll find all the stuff that was left out, has no place in the house, or just really shouldn’t have been kept anyway. There’s loose thumbtacks (beware!), rubber bands, adhesive rubber pads, crazy glue, ear plugs, ink pens, loose string, batteries, loose change, magnets, old keys, and just about anything else you can imagine.

Once in a while I do decide to clean it up, but in order to do that, I have to first empty the whole drawer out on the kitchen table. That makes quite a mess! Then I can sort through all the “stuff” we’ve accumulated, figure out what needs to stay, what needs to go, and then try to put it back in the place it should have been…or in the “junk drawer”. But until I empty it out, I can’t clean it up! And I don’t empty it often because those thumbtacks can HURT!

I had a revelation about this drawer one day. Every time I clean it out, I always put those thumbtacks back in there. Today, after years of putting them back, finally, I asked myself why I did that! If I know that’s why I avoid cleaning the drawer, and I know it’s a safety hazard for anyone who needs to find something in it, then why do they constantly go back in there loose? It’s simple. I’ve just developed a habit of doing it.

As Christians, I think sometimes God looks at our lives and at our hearts and decides to empty us out on the table too. There are times when we have to be taken down to “rock bottom”. It’s called rock bottom because you can’t get any lower than that. It’s like the bottom of the junk drawer. God has to get us to that point in order to sort us out, and make us take an inventory of what we’ve got inside. The problem is, just like the pain that my junk drawer can cause me - this kind of cleaning by God is often painful too. He can take your job, your spouse, your friends, your kids, your finances, even your church, and turn them upside down.

Consider the life of Job – nothing was spared. God wanted to see what would be left if all the blessings were gone. We read of the story of Job and find that in the end, Job was still a man of God. His rock bottom revealed a clean heart. But I wonder how many other stories God could give us where that wasn’t what was found.

Seems to me that if we understand that God has the power to turn us out on His table, and we understand how painful that can be, we would avoid it by doing our own house cleaning first. I don’t know about you, but rock bottom isn’t somewhere I want to be taken. I’ve grown very use to the blessings God has given, and very passionate about some of them. But in order to keep them, I have to realize who the giver is, and what the requirements are to keep them.

As Christians, we can all count our many blessings. We’ve been blessed with Christian friends, loving families, good financial standing, and a loving spirit within our local Churches. But when our lives become littered with the things of the world and our morality lowered to meet our own standards, we lose our passion his work and are set on the path to rock bottom. Friends, take time to do your own house cleaning. As each of us is a temple for God to live in, it must begin within you.

Lord, help us to take our own inventory, and give us the wisdom to see ourselves as you see us. Continue to bless us Father, not only with the things our heart desires, but the discipline to keep us on the right track. Amen.

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