I am at the computer, surrounded by boxes taped shut. Less than what I arrived in Perth with, I am proud to say. We are moving on…again. This time “just” interstate, not another emigration, although it might as well have been. I have spend the week having coffee with various ladies, taking my leave and reflecting on how each one impacted my life. Every single one was part of the Lord’s plan for perfecting me, teaching me how to grow in grace and for maturing me in every way. How much was accomplished in five years!
I am purging my home and my life as I am packing, hoping to be travelling a little lighter. The children have been on the receiving end of furniture and appliances, friends’ children received handbags and costume jewellery to play dress-up with and we’ve made numerous trips to the op shop.
Last night we had dinner with the children, to celebrate one of our girls’ birthday and driving home I mused on how much easier things are when you change your perspective. I left New Zealand, kicking and screaming, feeling like my heart was ripped out and stomped on. I didn’t want farewell dinners and coffee dates. I didn’t want to feel excited about the new season ahead, feel anticipation to meet new people and I definitely didn’t want a new adventure. I wanted what I knew and loved. This time round I choose to do things another way. I plan to leave well, take with me the lessons learned, cherish the good memories we made here and pack the rest up in a big box, to ship to the foot of the cross, where I intend to leave it forevermore.
As I was cleaning out my document folder I found something I wrote in 2012, long before I even had the courage to share publicly what I meditated on in private. As it’s all about having a different perspective, maybe now’s a good time for me to revisit it, as it fits into the “lessons learned” category very well.
REFLECTIONS OF A HOUSEWIFE
As I was cleaning this morning the Lord and I were just hanging out – you know that easy companionship you have with a close friend where just their presence is enough and few words need to be spoken – like that.
I started on the kitchen, my least favorite chore and noticed a smudge on one of the cupboard doors. Later, as I went over to see to it, I stood right in front of the door, but that smudge was gone. I had to change my position to allow the light to shine on the door and from that angle the smudge became perfectly visible. I started to get an inkling that the Lord was going to say something, but only as I realized that I was going to need a step ladder to reach the top of the range hood, did He speak to my heart. Sometimes it is necessary to ascend or to change position to allow the Light to reveal the smudges the Lord whispered.
Psalm 24 verses 3 and 4 came to mind. The NIV version reads: Who may ascend the mountain of the LORD? Who may stand in His holy place? The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not trust in an idol or swear by a false god.
Often I find myself transfixed to a certain spot, a certain position or a certain vantage point, purely because I, like many others, am a creature of habit. Same old does not bore me, it makes me feel safe. Routine and tradition does not hinder me, it gives me a point of reference. But there’s also a cry in my spirit, to have clean hands and a pure heart so that I too may ascend His mountain and stand in His presence. This tension causes me much distress because my spirit wants to go higher and my flesh wants to die of fright.
In Ephesians 5, from verse 25 to 27 Paul shares a little about Jesus and His role in this cleansing process “and just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the Word, and to present her to Himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.” This tells me that I have to change my position so that Jesus can do the cleansing, the perfecting. Sometimes it might mean a literal, physical repositioning; sometimes a spiritual realignment might be needed to allow Light to shine on spots and blemishes, revealing the idols and the blemishes in our lives.
The prophet Malachi warns us in Malachi 3: 1 – 5 “I will send My messenger, who will prepare the way before Me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to His temple; the Messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the LORD Almighty. But who can endure the day of His coming? Who can stand when He appears? For He will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; He will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then the LORD will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness, and the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will be acceptable to the LORD, as in days gone by, as in former years.
“So I will come to put you on trial. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive the foreigners among you of justice, but do not fear Me,” says the LORD Almighty.
So I am resolved to submit myself to the scrubbing now, trusting Jesus to do the job well, so that He might present me to The Father radiant, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.
PS…I am welcoming the realignment now, the purging, the scrubbing and the re-positioning, even though it means more goodbyes, because I know that He is GOOD, His plans for me are to give me hope and a future and that everything, even this, will work together for my good because I love Him and He loves me. May you find peace in the midst of your storm, calm in the midst of chaos and may His beautiful face shine brightly on us all.