Monday, November 7, 2011


I am a neat-nick. Doesn’t always work out well with small children, but if I had my choice, my home would always be neat. I don’t even mind cleaning because it actually calms me. Just don’t ask me to scrub anything. Dust, vacuuming, organize--great, but elbow-grease is where I draw the line. I mean, how relaxing is that, really? Scrubbing one spot over and over and over again? Ugh.

Hubby knows this about me, but it‘s not his favorite trait of mine (good thing he‘s called to love me anyway). I keep messes out of the way, but dirt in the corners? Baseboards that need washing? Stovetops with cooked on gunk? Yeah, not so much. It’s a matter of time, and I have other things I want to do. So, if my house is tidy, I tend to forget about the dirt lurking in other places, especially if it means skipping a task I truly don’t like.

And things go great, until Hubby wanders into an area that’s got gunk lurking. See, while I look at the big picture, God has blessed me with a husband who sees the details - thank you, Lord…truly…eh-hmmm…so anyway, last week when Hubby decided to cook me dinner, he encountered the stove. Sweet as he is, he didn’t say anything. He got dinner in the oven and just started scrubbing away. It took him the entire hour that dinner was cooking, (yes, I let it get that dirty) but that stove sparkled when he was done.

Now I explained to him that he’s much better at this than I am. Had I tackled the task, it would have taken much longer--his elbows are much stronger than mine. That explanation didn’t fly. He offered one of two thoughts--scrub harder or take care of the little messes before they turn into bigger ones. I politely ignored him. God, however, tugged on my ear to make sure I received the message.

I’ve been reading through the Bible during my morning devotional time and the next morning I opened up to where I was in Psalms. Chapter 66. There's a lot of great stuff in there that had me thinking, but I stopped at verse 10, “For you, O God, tested us; you refined us like silver.” Now I’ve read that before, but God read it to me that morning, then spoke with me a while.

All too often we take care of the big, easy messes in our lives, the ones that are easy to spot and easy to fix. They keep our lives tidy, but do they keep them clean? And what about those little messes that occur along the way? They ones that aren’t as noticeable, so we leave them--not realizing they are digging into the crevices of our lives, creating bigger messes that are harder to get rid of. Then when God comes in and points them out, we don’t want to scrub and polish that area to be rid of them. It takes too much work. And really, is it fun to rub over one spot over and over and over again until it’s removed? The area becomes sensitive, we become tired--who really wants to go through that?

But what’s our choice? To borrow Hubby’s words: Either take care of the messes when they are little and manageable, or scrub harder. Because God wants to refine us like silver.

Silver’s neat, isn’t it? My mom gave me a box of silver bells she used to put out every Christmas. They were a mess. But after some polishing and scrubbing, (by me, no less!) they shined. And you know what I noticed? I could see my reflection. And that is exactly what God wants. See, silver--when shiny--reflects the image of the person who’s holding it. So scrub away at your mess, put the elbow-grease in (Phillipians 4:13 says we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us, so no saying you‘re not strong enough to scrub, use His strength), because when you’re polished up they world will look at you and see the image of the One who’s holding you: Jesus Christ.


  1. I just love this! I tend to do daily cleaning, but those baseboards and crevices...well by the time I get there it takes major elbow grease!

    Great blog, Susan. Loved it!

  2. I'm not so good with spider webs and dusty ceiling fan blades. And deep cleaning closets. Ewww...

    Great devotional, Susan, because while I don't particularly enjoy cleaning, I love the way the house sparkles when I'm done. I hope people see Jesus reflected from me.

  3. Thanks Jess & Dora - great to see you ladies:)

  4. Excellent post, Susan! What a fantastic reminder to take care of the messes when they're manageable. Love your final point: when silver's shiny, it reflects the image of the person who's holding it! What a beautiful analogy of how we're to be a reflection of Christ.

    Thanks for stopping by Life Lessons! What a neat idea - to carry a tangible reminder of this story with you. I'm sure it helps you to remember that God is able to slay even the largest 'giants' in your life! Have a beautiful week! God bless!

  5. Wow, Susan! What a fantastic post! Thanks so much. God bless you.