Poop. It seems when you are a father of three small children that your life revolves around this topic. I find our conversations range from how frequently a child has had one to the consistency of it to what needs to be done with a diaper filled with it. If you’ve ever had kids, I am sure you can relate. During the most recent “poopy” incident at our house, a valuable lesson was brought to mind, so I thought I would share. 🙂
Shortly after my five-year-old had just gone into the bathroom, my wife and I heard him calling for help. I walked into the room to find quite a scene: Kaelen was standing in front of the toilet, facing away from it, with his pants at his knees, and there was poop EVERYWHERE. It was all over the floor. It was all over the rim. It was smeared on the outside of the bowl. It was on the inside and outside of his pants. My wife asked him, “Oh, Kaelen what happened?” Sheepishly he said, “I wanted to turn the fan on.” Well the good news is, he did indeed get the fan on. He just didn’t make it back across the bathroom in time.
My wife looked at me. I looked at her. She said, “Don’t look at me, I already cleaned up throw-up this morning.” I had nothing. I realized that I was not getting out of this one. It was definitely my job at this point. I looked at the horror smeared out before me. Jokingly, I followed my wife out of the bathroom and closed the door behind me. “There,” I said. “Problem solved.” My wife and I laughed together. Then I headed in and began to clean up the mess.
Obviously, I could never really expect to close the bathroom door and expect my five-year-old to clean up after himself. And of course it’s not going to clean itself. But many times this is exactly how we view our brokenness. Each of us has dirty, nasty, stinky, rooms in the house of our hearts. Deep, dark places from our childhood, or painful times in our lives. We just try to ignore our problems and expect that they will just eventually take care of themselves. Or we think, “If I just try harder I will be able to get over my broken past.” Here’s the thing: Thinking we can just try harder is like my five-year-old trying really hard to clean up his mess. Even if he tried to clean it up, because of the fact that he is only five years old, he actually would make it worse! Instead, he called for help.
The reality is that God is the only one who can truly clean and heal our hearts and make us whole. He stands at the door and wants to help us clean up the mess of our hearts, but at the same time He doesn’t force Himself into our dirty rooms. When we intentionally give Him access to our hearts, He will begin to bring things to the surface and start to clean house. It’s very humbling and can even be painful, but who wants to live with brokenness for their entire lives? So we have a choice. We can continue to ignore the filth in our hearts, or we can choose to give God full access to begin making us new.
Have you given God full access and permission to do work through your brokenness?