Before my family and I left for Lexington, I thought I had cleaned out the fridge of all of the leftovers and anything else that might have gone bad while we were away. When I came back and opened the refrigerator, I discovered that I had missed one container of leftovers in the back corner of the bottom shelf. I realize that at this point I have a choice to make; grab the container and empty it out, or close the door and pretend like I didn’t see it. I’m sad to say that I chose the latter. Now, I am certain that I am not the only one who has ever made that choice, so please no judgement!!
So, the next time I open the fridge it’s the same thing, and with each passing day the task becomes that more daunting and it just becomes easier to close the door again. I think to myself, well maybe Jocelyn will get rid of it. I actually started asking the question, “Am I really that attached to this particular container?” You see, the problem is that every time I open the fridge, there sat that container staring me in the face.
I think our hearts work the same way. We go through life and, because we live in a broken world, we get hurt. Things are said to us that hurt and instead of dealing with that pain, we put it in a container and store it away. We face a defeat or we falter morally, and again instead of dealing with it, we store it away. Guilt and shame - yep you guessed it - put a lid on it and tuck it away. Anger and resentment, bust out the Tupperware. I think you get my point. In Psalm 51 David prays, Lord create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me. Through this psalm, David is literally asking God to clear out all of the old Tupperware containers of his heart. David is praying to be rid of the leftovers of his life.
Getting rid of old leftovers is never fun, in fact most of the time it’s downright disgusting. So there comes a point where you just have to bite the bullet and toss it out. You take a deep breath, turn on the water and the garbage disposal, squint your eyes, rip off the top, dump it out and then it’s gone! Which is exactly what I ended up doing! Do you know what happened the next time I went the fridge? I opened the door and that container was gone, no longer staring me in the face and mocking me. It was actually a very liberating feeling!
Here is the good news! This is exactly what God wants to do with the leftovers in your heart. I am grateful that during the Aldersgate Conference last month, God had a chance to deal with a lot of leftovers in people’s hearts. ARM provides opportunities for the Holy Spirit to bring freedom to people and allowing them to live into the full potential God has created them to be.