O Jerusalem, wash your heart clean of wickedness so that you may be saved, How long shall your evil schemes lodge within you? Jeremiah 4:14 (NRSV)
Megan L. Anderson lives in Indiana. The apartment building she had lived in for four years closed. As Megan and her neighbors began to move out, she marveled at the amount of stuff people had been able to fit into their apartments. Megan's own quarters had been pretty bare, but there was always plenty of room for the regular stream of friends coming in and out to visit. Had she accumulated more things, there would not have been enough space for all of the shared meals, impromptu dancing, and games of charades with those she cared about.
Though Megan is not an avid collector of material possessions, she does have a tendency to store up unnecessary and even dangerous things in her heart: grudges, harsh words, hypocritical thoughts, and bad attitudes. Her heart can become so disorderly that there's little room left for God or other people. Unless she gives the Holy Spirit complete freedom to remove everything that isn't valuable, she will remain isolated in the cramped confines of spiritual clutter.
God longs to live close to us, to share the space of our lives so we can enjoy intimacy with God and with one another. Clearing the junk out of our hearts can be difficult, but when we do, we open ourselves to experiencing life as God meant it to be.
Prayer: Dear God, thank you for loving us enough to enter our messy hearts and clear space for eternal life. Help us to get rid of the clutter, in Jesus' name. Amen.