Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Devotionals for the Heart: Why we all could use some decluttering

Create in me

A devotional by Kay Pflueger

“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” 
– Psalm 51:10 (ESV)

Organizing and decluttering our homes has become popular of late. Experts suggest if something does not bring us joy, we should toss it or donate it. We are encouraged to surround ourselves only with things we love. Unfortunately, it is not always an easy task to give up those things we have become attached to.

Last winter, God taught me a lesson on the value of clearing out clutter. A winter storm brought heavy rains and howling winds to San Diego. Trees were uprooted and power lines were downed. Winter had arrived with a show of force. As I looked out the front window of my apartment, I saw two tall pine trees sway and shake due to the strength of the winds. It was a bit unsettling, and I prayed that they were rooted deeply enough to not be blown over. When I opened the blinds the next morning, they had survived the storm, but I was startled by what I saw. The storm had cleared all the debris from those trees; the ground, the street and the cars parked by the curb were literally buried in dead pine needles. The healthy branches were now able to soak up the sun and continue their growth. What an interesting metaphor for our lives!

I am part of a healthy living group on Facebook and am participating in a “Decluttering” challenge within that group. Our goal is to focus each day on one specific area in our home to organize and remove unnecessary items. It has amazed me how much stuff I can cram into my tiny apartment. But it feels so good to tackle this issue. One task in this challenge was to clean out our junk drawer. You know which one I mean…the one filled with all those things we just cannot seem to throw away, but that we never use. I am glad I was alone while cleaning that drawer. I would not want anyone to see what was hidden there.

As I worked through that task, I sensed a tugging on my heart and a whisper from God that seemed to say “What about the junk drawer of your heart? What clutter might you find in there?” Whoa…that was not what I expected as I thought of decluttering! What habits and thoughts that are not God honoring had I kept hidden from others? If I opened that drawer, what would I find? Jealousy...envy...anger…pride...stubbornness?

My thoughts went back to that winter storm. I recalled the words of Psalm 51, particularly verse 10: “Create in me a clean heart, O God and renew a right spirit within me.” The storms that blow through our lives have a purpose. Maybe they come to clear the debris that is cluttering our lives and to give us an opportunity to grow.

The words of Psalm 51 are ones of lament and of confession. King David had been confronted by the prophet Nathan regarding his sin with Bathsheba, and he went to the Lord humbly asking for forgiveness and for release from his guilt. He wanted God to cleanse his heart and to instill and new spirit within him. Just as we clear our homes of the clutter of day-to-day living, so should we ask God, as David did, to clear the clutter of sin from within our hearts.

Let’s Pray: Lord, I know I have stored things in my heart that are not pleasing to you. Help me to open my heart to you so that you can clear that clutter from within. Renew me with your life-giving spirit today and always. In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen

*Note from Alexis: Kay’s devotional today reminds me of the song by Donnie McClurkin titled “Create in Me a Clean Heart.” Listen to it and be blessed! 

Author Bio:

Learning to read as a young child opened a world of adventure for Kay Pflueger. She came to realize that words can have a unique power and beauty. 

Choosing to share those words in her devotional writings has become a joyful and rewarding experience for her. As a widow, she feels a special affinity towards those who are grieving or experiencing loss.

When she is not spending time with her married son and three grandchildren, she is either reading, cooking, writing, or working on pursuing her Copyediting Certification.

Kay is an avid baseball fan who looks forward every summer to following her favorite team, the Chicago Cubs.

Kay is an active member of Victory Lutheran Church in her hometown of San Diego, California.

She enjoys writing devotions to be shared on her church’s website and personal social media.

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