• Pastor Steve VanAmburg

Spring Cleaning


Hebrews 12:1 - Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,

A little while ago my wife and I wondered if the developing storm “Isaias” (Why didn’t they just call it Isaiah which is its name????) was going to hit us here in central Florida. So in our plans and preparations, my wife informed me that we needed to clean out our garage so that we could park my car in our 2 car garage. As a backdrop, I used to park my car in the garage along with my wife’s car, but things changed back in March. That’s when I moved my Mom down from Dowling Park, FL to DeLand, FL. She moved into a new Assisted Living Facility and so even though her furniture went into her apartment, many of my Dad’s tools and a few other items ended up in my garage. My Dad passed away about 12 years ago and we always kept those items at my Mom’s place in case she ever needed any repairs done on her home. We had all the tools there. And now, many of those items were sitting in my garage.

I must confess, I really didn’t want to attack that mess of stuff. It even seemed to grow when events in my grown children’s lives seemed to add to the pile. They contributed things like paint brushes, pans, drop clothes, etc. You get the idea. What originally seemed like a manageable pile was growing since March. Here we are in July waiting for a potential hurricane and my wife says it’s time to clean up the pile and move the car in. My wife was right, but I was lacking in my motivation. After a lot of sweat, effort, and 2 days of Florida heat, I am pleased to say that we finished. We threw out things in our garage we didn’t need, we gave things away we didn’t need, I arranged my Dad’s tools so I could access them, and I backed my car into the garage. Wow. I felt good like we had accomplished a great feat.

Isn’t that how it is with our spiritual life? We accumulate habits and sins that begin to slow us down and entangle us as Hebrews says. It happens very easily. We’re supposed to “run with perseverance the race marked out for us” but we’re tripping over the things that are wrapped around our lives. We’re trying to go forward but we’ve allowed that sin to just weigh us down. There’s a reason that Marathon runners run without carrying boxes and things. It just doesn’t work well.

Sometimes we just run the race of Christ with a sour attitude, or plagued with fear, or as one lady put it, with communication that hinders our spiritual walk. Sometimes we hold on to anger, bitterness, or unforgiveness. We say everything is fine, but we don’t want to be near certain people. Are we really OK? Our body is God’s temple, yet we allow it to get cluttered. Our schedules are God’s but we allow them to get cluttered too. Pretty soon we find God’s valuable things parked away from ourselves like my car was and we get used to it. So may I encourage you to do some “spring/summer cleaning.” What has God said that He wants you to get rid of and to organize? Maybe take this weekend do it because you know there is always a storm brewing and coming our way. Be blessed with this Scripture and know that God will strengthen you (Philippians 4:13) for this cleaning task.

In Deepest Christian Love,

Pastor Steve

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