My back is aching and my legs are wobbly...but I'm so encouraged. I've just completed a total cleaning and organizing overhaul on both of the older boys' rooms. With two in each room, both bedrooms had become a disastrous explosion of minute lego pieces, wadded up socks, precious scribbled drawings (times 20!), and lots and lots of books that never seem to return to their shelves. Try as I might to train, I simply do not keep up with keeping my kids' rooms tidy.
After working around the clock for several days straight (it takes a lot longer with a napping infant and mischievous 3 yr. old in tow...), the boys and I climbed out of the mayhem to a fresh, clean, and extremely organized room.
"We'll never let it get messy again," they assured me.
I smiled, knowingly: "Boys, the key is not to never let it get messy, but to train yourself to work at it a little each day."
Isn't that the way it is with spiritual discipline as well? No, it's not that we have any part in "cleaning" ourselves up; rather, it's a matter of weeding out the junk and decluttering the spiritual man day by day.
I was thinking on this today, as I tucked the boys in to their spotless beds and clean rooms. I remembered my encouragement for them to tend to their rooms daily, rather than wait until they could no longer enjoy, use, or find anything in their own rooms. It was misery that drove them to the huge task of organizing everything from the inside out; it is for joy that they will seek to keep it that way.
And so it is with our hearts. Do you find that you wait until you are completely miserable and despairing before you run to the Word of God, and hide it in your heart? Do you find yourself thinking, "If I only had more discipline daily, I wouldn't have these major meltdowns!" I've been there too at times. Whether you are a member of the 5:45 Club, or if you squeeze it in at your children's naptime-- may I encourage you to tend to your garden through the pruning of God's Word? We make time for what's important to us. The blessing and reward of spiritual progress is worth pursuing. As is joy.
A little each day. Driven by joy, not just reacting to misery. His Word provides both fuel and healing. Avail yourself of both--day by day, starting today. Be blessed!
**If you do not already have a Scripture reading plan, here are a few resources that may help: