By Ginny Reding
I’ve been on a do-or-die operation the last several weeks. My mission: to eradicate the gazillion flies that have invaded my home; to locate nesting areas and destroy flies and their offspring. I show no mercy. I swat, swipe, even take the shop vac to them, which can be quite effective, I might add. My sweet, non-violent grandchildren raise shrill voices when a fly appears: “Grandma!! A fly. Kill it!” So I scurry over to the nearest instrument of death, praising their interest in my task, acknowledging a job well done. My husband, Kenny’s, contribution to the effort is to give frequent reminders to all within earshot, “Shut the door! You’re letting flies in!” These bothersome pests, creation of our Lord though they are, get on my last nerve. I struggle to find any good in them, and I resent the time I waste chasing after them. However, I must admit that I can’t help but be impressed at their procreating expertise.
Flies aren’t the only thing I’ve been running around swatting, trying to eliminate from my house. I read many years ago, a booklet by Robert Boyd Munger called, “My Heart, God’s Home,” which made a lasting impression on me. He writes of Jesus as he came “into the darkness of my heart and turned on the light. He built a fire in the cold hearth and banished the chill. He started music where there had been stillness and He filled the emptiness with His own loving, wonderful fellowship.” Munger goes on to tell how he and Christ visited different rooms (the library of his mind, the dining room of his appetites and desires, the workshop where his talents and skills were kept, the rumpus room of friendships and activities, the closet filled with dead, rotting things, the drawing room, where he would meet with His Master.) This word picture gave new meaning to the idea of my heart as a sanctuary for God’s presence.
If I am a Christ-follower, I am in Him and He is in me. I am God’s child; I am a co-heir with Jesus. I am to walk as He walked; talk as He talked; live as He lived. There is no room for sin to overtake my heart—His home. It dirties up the place. It multiplies. It tarnishes and contaminates. This is troubling, but then when I think of sin overtaking me, I relax a bit. My life is not full of sin, I decide. Just a few little things here and there are problematic, and I’m working on them. But just as the flies sneak in when my outside door opens up in my home, sin can find a way in when I open up the door to my heart…or mind…or eyes…or mouth. I fear that I am not nearly as deliberate or persistent about ridding my life of my sin as I am of eradicating my kitchen of flies. I’m afraid I don’t listen well when I hear, “Close the door. You’re letting _____ in!” But when I cry out to God, He gives me His grace. He pours out His mercy. He reminds me that I am loved, that He has provided and continues to provide a way out for me. All I have to do is take it.
“For He has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of His dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave us our sins” Colossians 1:13-14