Thursday, April 4, 2013

Even in my messy basement

Again, I am that mother stomping around with the trash bag. "We have to much junk in this house!" I mutter, and I fume. Mess upon mess. And the mess is inside me, too, and I know it.

I do not have the mental capacity to see this as a teaching opportunity.
(Like I did this time: Cleaning rage, garbage bags, law and gospel)

 Messy rooms, kids being kids, these things do not deserve the absolute rage I feel.

What in the world?

Why are there shoes in the cage? 
No wonder you kids can never find your shoes. 

And while I'm cleaning one thing, another thing happens:

Are you kidding me?! Can't I even clean a room without having another room destroyed?!

I will never, ever, ever be caught up. I will never live in a house that is organized.  My life will never be manageable.  I will never have enough patience for these little people. They will never learn to take care of their stuff. I will never learn to teach them gently instead of just letting it go and then getting angry.

I am doomed to a life of constant work, endless effort, and I will never see any actual progress.

In case you  hadn't guessed it yet, my old friend depression paid me another visit last month.

Often, when my insides become twisted and tangled in this way, I try to fight it my untwisting and untangling things outside of me, like my messy house.  I seek rest this way, rest through feeling accomplished or making something look perfect. And I don't get it.

The clutter in my home does clutter up my brain, but the rest I really seek is a rest for my soul, for my conscience.

Depression aside, true rest of soul, of conscience and heart and mind comes only in Jesus. There is no end to the cleaning, no organizing the tangled mess of my heart and my body.  Not through my efforts, that is.

Flattened by the mess within and without, I had ears to hear the sweetness of the gospel, once again:

(From Pastor Melius:)

The devil wants us to have a clear conscience by the Law.
While the devil is slithering the law, God is proclaiming loudly the gospel. Your sins are forgiven, don’t believe the devil, I love you I have in fact forgiven you, you are baptized, I forgive you…

What is that gospel?
What the devil wants to do is for us to consider ourselves clear and clean by the Law which we can never do, we can never get to the end of it.

The Lord God wants us to have a clear conscience not by doing a bunch of things but by Him doing it for us.

The other day I had to go down – my kids had to clean the basement and the basement was an awful mess- you got Legos all over, stuff all over. My kids have to do this all the time and the basement is constantly a mess. They have two ways to get out from the dungeon of the basement and outside playing and jumping around. Either they have got to clean the whole thing, the entire mess, and the kids usually are making more of a mess while they are trying to clean, or, dad can come down and say, “All right, it’s clean, you can go.”

It’s the same thing here. The Lord wants us to have a clear conscience and there are two ways to get it. One, we can clean up our whole mess, all of our sins. And we tend to be committing more sins even while we are trying to clean. Or, God can come down with his voice. Our Father, can come down the stairs and say “It’s clean. You can be done. Go out and run and play and be joyful.”

This is the way we have a clear conscience. This is the way the devil is defeated by the gospel.

The italicized portion is a quote from Pastor Jared Melius on Issues Etc. Listen to the full podcast here.

In you there is rest for my soul, even in this place where everything is tangled. You have come to me with your voice, your Word, your Son. You come down with your voice, even way down here in my sin-filled basement. Give me ears to hear your voice always, and may I always dwell in the places where your Word is proclaimed, where Christ is present, come down for me.

Read more posts on depression here.

1 comment:

  1. I love your authenticity. I will say a prayer for you today.


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