Thanksgiving is quickly approaching. In so many ways, this is such a lovely time of year. Fall leaves, cool and crisp weather, and shorter days (that equal more indoor family time for this household). But unfortunately it’s also the time of year for illnesses.
My littlest one, affectionately known as Lil Bit, wasn’t feeling well at all and things were looking worse rather than better. We attempt to handle many ailments naturally, but this was the time for medical intervention, so off to the doctor we went. I had other plans for the day… Getting our home ready to host a feast, putting up more Thanksgiving decorations, menu tweaking, baking, and more. But, everything was put on hold, and rightly so. Lil Bit was not feeling at all well, and I was feeling a bit worn out from spending much energy in prayer, a lack of peaceful sleep, and even a little anxiety.
On my way out the door, I told my two teenage daughters, “Please pick up the living room and just clean up what you can.” I figured if they would do the picking up, then I could come back and do a deeper cleaning. After my 6 weeks of recovering from an Achilles injury, I was now able to do more, and the house was definitely in need of order.
When Lil Bit and I came home two hours later, the house looked beautiful! I was so pleasantly surprised… in awe actually. My daughters exceeded my expectations a hundred-fold. I felt so very blessed, refreshed, and encouraged by the effort they put in. Pillows in place on the couch, coffee table polished, vacuum-cleaning lines on the carpet, even some very minor rearranging that improved the look of the living room. But, it didn’t stop there! No, they also cleaned the dining room and kitchen, which basically encompasses the whole downstairs. And their effort didn’t diminish as they left one room and worked on another. All it needed was a lit candle and this home could have been on a magazine! Okay, I’m exaggerating there, but that’s how I felt. I just felt…. Blessed. I left them with instructions, returned, and was welcomed warmly by girls who had been faithful to me during my absence.
So today, I was reflecting. God brought to my mind the story of the good servants in Luke who were prepared for their master’s return. Interestingly, I thought our experience was somewhat similar to that of the parable told in Luke.
“Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning, and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the wedding feast, so that they may open the door to him at once when he comes and knocks. Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes. Truly, I say to you, he will dress himself for service and have them recline at table, and he will come and serve them. If he comes in the second watch, or in the third, and finds them awake, blessed are those servants! But know this, that if the master of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have left his house to be broken into. You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” (Luke 12:35-40 ESV)
I’m so thankful for my sweet girls who did what I asked of them, when I asked it, and eclipsed all of my expectations with their devotion, attention to detail, and great effort. How much more must it please our Master when we respond the same way! And someday, though we may not know the hour of His arrival, our Master will return and we must have our spiritual houses in order and be wholeheartedly prepared to receive and welcome Him.
That thought may be very exciting, or a little scary, depending on the type of servant you are. And if you’ve fallen short in the past (haven’t we all?), or for that matter even today, it’s never to late to do some spiritual housecleaning and start anew.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9 ESV)
So, is your house in order?