This week, my husband is out of town. And today is trash day. I can honestly say that there are very few things I enjoy less than gathering up and dragging the garbage to the street, so this morning I argued with myself in my mind about whether it could wait till next week when he gets back. But my sensibility won out, and I held my nose and took care of it. On the way to work this morning, I was thinking about the implications of choosing not to take out the trash. I have a friend who lived in Guatemala for a year, and they don’t have a city trash service. This means that garbage is basically piled up in certain places, and it just sits there and rots. Gross.

I visited with a young lady over the weekend who said she was having great difficulty knowing God’s will and sensing His presence in her life. She wondered if she was even a Christian. I remember telling her that sometimes our sin and suffering seems to pile up in our hearts, making the sweet aroma of the Spirit less easy to notice. And, if you’re like me, you may try to stuff that garbage as much as possible, choosing not to deal with it because it’s too hurtful or difficult. But sooner or later, the pile of garbage (and its stench) cannot be ignored. For me, the stench comes out in irritated remarks toward my loved ones or refusal to commune with God or idolatry of comfort. But those are outward smells of the garbage within. “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on Him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.” (I Peter 5:6-9)

What garbage is piled up in our hearts? Our Lord calls us to cast it all at His feet, knowing that He cares for us and wants our freedom. I encourage you to take stock of your heart this week, perhaps writing down the things that seem to be causing a stench in your heart and then confessing to a sister or brother in Christ. Then, in faith, let us cast it all at the beautiful feet of Jesus. His yoke is easy, and His burden is light (Matthew 11:30).

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