The costumes are put away, and the pumpkin sits lonely and dark on the porch. I listen to the washing machine clean up the dirt carried in from leaf piles and mud puddles, and I rerun episodes of little boy leaps and giggles in my head. The house is quiet. Nap time came early today. I unwrapped a scoop of leftover candy and chewed the sugary sweetness quick, immediately wanting more. I reason another miniature chocolate bar would still add up to less than the regular size, and I enjoy.
Yet, before long, the inevitable occurs. My opponent, and often brash companion, begins to sing that familiar song of disappointment in my ear. The words may change but the message doesn’t – so much candy, so much junk. You can’t undo so much junk.
And I recognize some truth here. I cannot erase those empty calories, I cannot pretend it all away. I shouldn’t need to sneak into it at nap time; I shouldn’t need to hide it at all. So I’m not. Instead, I’m writing this lesson down and sounding the sirens. It all is unwrapped and on the table.
Not because I deserve a hard punishment or because I feel more like junk than a jewel. Instead, it’s the opposite – even with all the junk, there is still something valuable, there is much to be redeemed.
There is someone who’s invited me to His table and that’s where the real feast awaits.
I’m tired of spoiling my appetite.
We study Scripture that tells us that faith and repentance are required. We listen to Our Father who tells us compassion comes with confession. So I confess:
I am weak.
I am selfish. I worry about what I cannot fix.
I let myself criticize myself for past mistakes, I continue to make them.
I notice wrinkles around my eyes and veins on my legs and compare myself to others.
I question if I’m teaching enough, I question if I’m serving too little and if I’m spending too much.
I am broken.
In the middle of all the mess, there is something we shouldn’t miss. In the middle of those guilt trips and grown up tantrums, there is an Artist at work, and He makes masterpieces.
And so I surrender. I confess that on my own I’m nothing more than dirt stains on borrowed clothes, and I am weak. I need Him, my God, to be strong for me and to make me into something beautiful and bring me to His table. I will take the hurt, and I will take the twists and turns that may come, and I will decide to let go and let God do the heavy lifting. He promised He would. I will not make excuses; I will not try to make everything work on my own. I know it never will. It wasn’t meant to.
Instead, I’ll come with a heart to be cleaned, and I’ll ask God to clean it. I’ll read His word and be slow to speak. I’ll listen.
All because He is worth more than words. All because He took all of me and already washed it clean. So I will stop beating myself up and I will ask Him to make me new, each day. And I will enter into a new season of celebration.
And I may have a piece of candy or two, but I will not let it consume me. Because there is a feast that awaits.
Jesus says “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” Revelation 3:20
Friends, as we survey and often over-analyze our days, we must remember that it’s God’s plan and purposes that matter, not the voices that sneak up to attack us with worry in our heads. The beautiful thing is that in this very moment, we can give any hurt, disappointment, self-pity (all the junk) to Him each day, and He will redeem and make us new. A great feast awaits! Delight in this sweet promise this week, and share it. Good, good news!
“He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” Revelation 21:5