John 3:16-21 New Living Translation (NLT)
16 “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.
18 “There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. 19 And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. 20 All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. 21 But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.[a]”
This morning, as I was complaining (out loud) about an “issue” in the house, my husband gently deflated my rising frustration by whispering, “there’s probably a lesson, or blog somewhere in this….”
I quickly responded, “NO- I don’t think so! (silence) “yeah….you’re probably right.”
About a week ago, my keen sense of smell alerted me to something amiss in the house. As I went from room to room, sniffing like a bloodhound, I discovered the location of the stench: our son’s bedroom. As I got down on all 4’s for a closer inspection, I quickly deciphered the odor on the rug: non-human pee.
How had I not seen it before?
How had I not felt it before?
How had I not smelled it before?
It was hidden in plain sight.
I was completely unaware of its existence.
I grabbed the spray bottle of vinegar and a rag and began grumbling and scrubbing it out with a bit of elbow grease.
A few days later, after the hot August sun had been shining through the windows, the light and heat re-ignited the odor. Upon closer inspection (this time I flipped the rug over) I realized that there was not 1, but 2 large pee stains on the rug! The kids and I then drug the 8×8 carpet outside to be steamed cleaned with a deodorizer. We left it on the driveway to dry overnight to ensure that the odor- and stain were completely eradicated.
This morning, to my horror, when I walked back into our son’s room, it still smelled like pee. The urine had seeped all the way through the rug and into the hardwood floors!!!
(it was in this moment when my husband intervened…..and offered me the opportunity for another life lesson)
What in the world could I learn from a pee stained rug?
You see, the enemy uses the same hidden in plain sight tactic with us. When we sin, he is allowed a foothold and his presence stains and stinks up our lives. Even though we may be completely unaware of their existence, those sins can seep down deep into our soul, affecting not only our life, but also those around us.
In order to expose the darkness in our heart, we must:
a) be in constant relationship with the Lord and regularly ask Him to reveal areas of sin in our lives (often times a stench is a good indicator of a problem!)
b) have godly friends (I’m not talking about those “friends” that we have superficial “it’s all good” conversations with…I’m talking about iron sharpens iron friends) that will rebuke us, in love, by helping to flip over the rug to reveal the stain underneath.
After those areas are exposed to the light, we can either:
a) choose to fix them ourselves (like I did when I tried to scrub those deeply embedded stains out of the rug, by hand, with just a rag and some vinegar)
b) repent, seek God’s forgiveness and be cleansed (the Holy Spirit uses a fabulous steam cleaner with odor eliminating detergent!)
Thank you for loving me so much that you sent your son to die for me, so that I may spend eternity with you. Thank you for shining your light on the dark places of my soul, so that they can be exposed, eliminated and cleansed.