That Damnable Closet!

23:00 what a day this has been. I started out this morning by seeing a number of visions concerning cleaning out my closets. I have to do this or I will not be able to finish my race well. In the last several days, I’ve seen God at work in the deepest of recesses in my life. He showed me a picture of me with him in my house:

We were talking and walking along a hallway. He stopped in front of a closet. He said we needed to clean out the closet. I suddenly got very agitated and animated. I told him I thought that was a great idea. “You clean it out and when you’re done, let me know. I will be in the other room. You are the one that wants to clean it out, I don’t. Just let me know when you’re done.”

Then the vision was gone. I knew what it meant. It was brutally clear to me. I’ve been praying for many years asking God to clean out that damnable closet. I’ve asked, begged and pleaded for him to clean out the closet. It never got cleaned out. I made the comment on more than one occasion that it must be ok with God to have a dirty closet because I can’t get it cleaned and He doesn’t seem to want to. But the vision explained all of that. In order to clean out the closet, I have to actually GO INTO THE CLOSET to clean it. I have done everything but go into the closet. The closet is full of things I don’t want to see or feel. That is the issue here, I don’t want to feel those things again. I have managed to separate myself from those feelings and I don’t want to experience them again. I want them to simply go away. But that’s not what is going to happen. They aren’t going away and I’ve known that for a long time but wouldn’t admit it, rather thinking if I ignored them they would disappear.

So the Lord said the time is now to clean this closet. I was sitting in my office in stunned silence. Job said it best “that which I have so greatly feared has come upon me!” I asked “How do I do this?” Almost immediately I saw a picture of guys in my home fellowship and the pastor, Shannon, Jimmy, David and Ralph. I saw them sitting at the kitchen table at Ralph’s home. I also knew what that meant and slowly nodded my head. It meant I needed to open the closet, go into it and have them help me stay on my feet as I start cleaning. I’ve walked through this many times since Sunday and there are buckets of un shed tears in there. The shame of this is almost unbearable. I’m 62 and I shouldn’t be dealing with this crap at my age. But that doesn’t matter, because I am. I’m dealing with it now because I haven’t dealt with it sooner. The anger that is bound up inside is in that closet. The source of addictions is in the closet. My failures and sins are all in that closet. I sat at my desk looking out the window at the things He has shown me about this accursed closet. Before I do this Lord, I want to talk to my counselor because I feel safe there. I called and the only opening she had between now and August 11 was today at 5:00. On the way to her office the Lord quickened to me I needed to expand my zone of safety and this process will do that by letting Godly men know what is tearing me up inside. I was good at burying this for the last 35 years. I can’t do that anymore. It won’t stay buried.

So I am letting you 4 guys that are involved with my home fellowship know I need some time with you at Ralph’s house so I can start the cleaning process. I might add that I am really scared about this. This is new to me. My stomach is about 2 Tums short of throwing up at any minute.

James 5:16 (AMP) Confess to one another therefore your faults (your slips, your false steps, your offenses, your sins) and pray [also] for one another, that you may be healed and restored [to a spiritual tone of mind and heart]. The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working].

I can’t hear you ………..

I am out of pocket for a few days. Well ok, another 6-8 weeks.    I am not immobilized but I am recovering from surgery that greatly restricts my mobility. So my wife is stuck with taking care of me. I’ve been an outdoors guy all of my life. I’ve worked outside in all types of weather. But now, I can’t walk into the kitchen by myself. I can’t make myself coffee without a great deal of difficulty. I can’t take a shower by myself. I can go to the bathroom by myself, but I can’t let the dogs in or out. I can’t mow the yard. (I am hoping you are getting the picture here). I find I am dependent on others to do things I have done by myself for my entire adult life. And you know what? I find I hate every minute of it.

It turns out my wife isn’t so comfortable with the idea either. A friend from church called and asked how they could help us. I jumped at the chance to have someone else mow the lawn. I mentioned that as we talked and I could tell my wife was nervous about it. She was going to pay someone to come and mow as well as some other things that needed to be done. But she acceded to the help and then our friend dropped the big one on us. They were going to bring us food. We were both stunned. SOMEONE IS BRINGING US FOOD! We aren’t on welfare, we aren’t destitute, yet someone is bringing us food. What can we do to repay you we asked? “Oh nothing” our friend said rather nonchalantly. “We just want to help.”

Well there ya go! The Gospel of Christ in action.

Philippians 2:4 (HCSB) {4} Everyone should look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.

1 Corinthians 10:24 (HCSB) {24} No one should seek his own good, but the good of the other person.

I could quote others, but there is no need to. Our friends were modeling the Gospel right in front of our very own eyes and we failed to recognize it. We were so concerned about paying them back and being independent, that when Jesus was talking to us on the phone, we didn’t know it. I have a much clearer understanding of

Matthew 25:44 (HCSB) {44} “Then they too will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or without clothes, or sick, or in prison, OR UNABLE TO MOW THEIR YARD, OR LEAVE THE HOUSE, and not help You? ‘ [Red text my own addition so will not confuse it with a new translation you weren’t aware of.]

These folks that miss out in the end were so worried about their own deal and perhaps adhering to a standard that doesn’t exist in the Bible, that when Jesus did show up, they had no clue about it.

John 12:29-30 (HCSB) {29} The crowd standing there heard it and said it was thunder. Others said that an angel had spoken to Him. {30} Jesus responded, “This voice came, not for Me, but for you. Mark 4:9 (HCSB) {9} Then He said, “Anyone who has ears to hear should listen! “