I am a very tidy person. But I never used to be...
My room when I was a teenager literally looked like a scene from the Walking Dead (minus the zombies)... just mess everywhere, like everything had just been abandoned... clothes, shoes, socks, plates, make up smears on the mirror, dirty washing lying around, and always a collection of cups and glasses on the bedside table. I once found a 4 month old sandwich under my bed when I was forced to clean my room, but that’s a story for another time.
Then... I moved out into my own flat!
I’ve went from messy teenager to pristine and clean! I like my flat to be spick and span and always tidy. However, I know that that can’t always be the case. It’s hard to have your house looking spot on whilst actually living in it!
The flat is tidy the majority of the time, however there have been nights (pre lockdown ) where me and Connor have been working all day and then we have people coming over for dinner. By the time we get home there’s not much time to clean the house before the guests arrive. So what do we do?
“Quickly!! They’ll be here in 20 minutes! Just shove everything into the hall cupboard!”
How many times have we done that in our spiritual lives? Quick, shove all the sin into the hall cupboard... dump all the insecurities in the wardrobe... hide all the bad thoughts in the washing basket...
As long as I look like a “good Christian” on the outside...
As long as to the onlooker I look like I have everything together...
As I long as I pretend to follow God so other people believe it...
Yeah, that can work if you’re trying to fool people. If you pretend you’ve got it all together then most people will believe you. But you can’t hide reality from God.
There’s nothing you’ve done that He doesn’t know about. But I don’t want that statement to scare you. Because there’s nothing you’ve done that He doesn’t know about but He STILL chooses to love you.
I believe that God would appreciate the prayer of an honest heart more than a prayer pretending that everything is fine when it’s not.
In my own personal bible reading I’ve just finished 1 and 2 Samuel. David is the central character in these books, and one thing I love about David is the honesty of his heart. Some days, he feels on top of the world... unstoppable and invincible! And other days he feels like God has abandoned him.
Take Psalm 13 for example. David starts it like this:
“How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and day after day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?”
Have you ever felt like that? What I love about that Psalm is that David isn’t pretending to God that he is okay. He’s not shoving his emotions into the hall cupboard! He is being so honest with God in prayer.
However, the thing I love most about this Psalm is how David ends it:
“But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.
I will sing the Lord’s praise,
for he has been good to me.”
See David didn’t just wallow in self pity. He was honest with God about his problems, and then reminded himself after that that God is still good. No matter what you’re going through, God is faithful, He is good, and He loves you.
David could rejoice even in his hardest times. He wasn’t faking his joy here... yes, he may have been sad, but he still had joy.
See there is a difference between sadness/happiness and joy. Sadness/happiness are feelings...they come and go... but joy is a state of being, so when we have God, we have joy, even in the hard times.
So stop shoving your emotions into the hall cupboard. Stop hiding them away to make yourself look better to God. He knows your deepest, darkest thoughts and still loves you.
So pray to him today, and honest prayer, and watch your sorrow turn to joy.