In most cities outside of Miami, the onset of spring means it’s finally time to throw open windows that have been shut all winter, and let the fresh air in. Creatures that have been tucked away come out of hiding, and flowers that lay dormant for months suddenly start to bloom. It’s as though the whole earth wakes up after a long winter, ready for a new beginning.
Inside, we give our homes a total refresh with some deep, spring cleaning. We roll up our sleeves to scrub the gunk that’s built up over the year. We make piles of miscellaneous items to throw away or donate. We check batteries and electronics to make sure everything is in good working order. It’s a great yearly tradition, because dusting out the cobwebs and getting rid of things we don’t need is healthy for our bodies and helps destress the mind.
But take a moment to focus within. Where does this turn of season find you in your life and, more importantly, in your walk with God? Do you need some spring cleaning for your soul? Maybe you feel weighed down or tired instead of hopeful and rejuvenated. Let’s go step by step through a process of clearing our hearts and refocusing on God to make room for his promises in this new season.
Repeated distractions, unhealthy habits, and bad influences all get in the way of a relationship with God. They steal our time and focus away from the things that are important to him and instead, cause our hearts and minds to become distant. God has given us so many talents to express, ambitions to explore, and people to enjoy. He wants us to embrace them all, but none of that should come at the expense of pursuing him.
Although the clutter in your life may be easy to identify, it may not be as easy to clear out. Maybe there are activities you really enjoy doing but they just don’t allow any balance in your schedule. Maybe there are long friendships that you know need to end. Speak to God and ask him to help. Even if you don’t know where to begin, he can help sort out and remove anything that is blocking you from spending time with him.
As we live our lives, we sometimes sin and suffer from spiritual blindness, where our pride makes it hard to ask for forgiveness. Have you been fixated on the outcome of your prayers rather than sitting in obedience and focusing on God's promise? Have you lost your awe of God?
Take a moment to really reflect on what’s been tugging on your heart and let God restore, forgive, and purify you. Allow God to search your heart and reveal the things that aren’t pleasing to him. Ask for forgiveness and humble yourself before God so he can wash away your doubt and your sins, and open your heart to be forgiven. When we repent, we invite Jesus into our situation and reestablish fellowship with him.
Sometimes, things happen in life that cause so much pain and heartache, we carry the stain of it long after the incident occurs. Harsh words, abuse, abandonment, whatever the cause, the effects are lasting. Without realizing it, we can allow our stains to tarnish others, like our children or other people we love.
God doesn’t want us to live lives that are marked by damage from the past. Don’t be afraid to turn to your community or seek therapy to work through the struggles. Ask God to bring healing for the deep wounds that have become too familiar. He can reach those deep places and remove the stains, if you allow him to. As he breaks down the walls of protection you’ve built, turn to him for strength and courage to trust and move forward.
Getting quiet with God is the most refreshing thing one can do for their soul. Take time to read a scripture. Read it out loud and write it down for memorization. Then, meditate on his word day and night, for all scripture is good for teaching, correcting and training in righteousness.
Apart from that, understand that God longs for you to simply be in his presence. Spend time talking to him beyond just asking for things. Being still is not just about us, it is also about honoring God for who he is.
So as you turn the page and seek new beginnings this season, don’t forget to look inside. Just as much as our homes need to be cleared out, deep cleaned, and restocked, so do our souls. But don’t wait for a specific time or month, be encouraged to consistently spend time with God.
Let him guide you in including or excluding things from your life before they become clutter. Walk closely with him in humility so that God can show you unclean areas of your heart in need of forgiveness, or hidden places that need healing. Over and over, we have the opportunity to be cleansed, refreshed, and renewed because he is our never ending supply. Let the spring cleaning begin and may it last all year long!
No need to do all the cleaning alone. Join a VOUS Care Crew for support along the journey!