There’s something strange about those little Tupperware containers that sit on the refrigerator shelf. I see them, their little red tops alerting me that yesterday’s supper is hanging on today. But the thing is … I don’t like to eat left-overs. Neither does Farmer Dean. We claim we will. We want to, really, we do. But when the next day rolls around, something different calls to us.
This morning, when I opened up the refrigerator to grab the farm fresh eggs from neighbor, JaVonne, I made my way past the many containers of leftovers. I pushed them aside and wondered if anyone would ever come and visit and take care of the ever-growing number of boxes. But, alas, I knew completely, it was time. Time to fix the problem.
I piled them on the center island and began to open them one by one. Seriously, I believed that they were from yesterday, or three days ago. But the more I opened the food, the more I saw mold, and disintegrating food particles- some of which I had no idea what they started out as.
The warm sudsy water hit the dirty dishes and one by one, I made my way past the awful truth. I had kept things on the shelf for far too long. As I washed them and set them to dry, I began to compare the leftovers on the shelves of my refrigerator, with the leftovers on the shelves of my soul.
How often do I have someone say something that hurts. Or perhaps ignore me when I’m speaking. Or disagree with me adamantly, only to bruise my emotions. How often have I slammed a lid on that and shoved it to the back of a shelf somewhere in my mind where I don’t think about it. And then, one day, when something reminds me, I pull it out and realize, it’s gone bad. Real bad. It no longer looks like what it did, but it’s taken on a life of its own. Disgusting.
Sin is like that. Whether it’s sin that you and I have committed, or sin that others have committed, and it affects us. We can choose to ignore it, sure, but if not dealt with, it will continue to sit on the shelf and sour, decay, and turn rancid.
When I finished washing the many containers, I poured a steaming cup of coffee and sat in my comfy chair. I looked out at the trees that had lovely birds chirping happily and said to myself- it’s time to unpack those little containers. And I did.
There were words that someone recently said that hurt me. There was a purposeful laugh at something I did that wasn’t meant to be funny. There was an unkind text message that tried to put me in my place. And there was someone who was angry when I told them I couldn’t help them. I scooped everything onto a big garbage heap at the foot of the cross and told Jesus, “Here, I’m sorry. Please, wash these clean.”
Although I was tempted to put some things back on the shelf in my heart, I remembered how awful things looked when they had outlived their time on the shelf.
My heart had things that were stored up and certainly were way past their expiration date.
Today, I’m wondering about you. Have you checked the shelves of your heart lately? Do you have things stored there that should have been cleared out weeks ago? It’s time for a clean sweep. Time for the garbage heap. Time for Jesus, to wash things clean with the wonderful blood that He shed for all our sins. Yours. Mine. And the refrigerator’s shelves.
1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He (Jesus) is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”