Like Christopher Robin in a Winnie-the-Pooh episode called “Cleanliness Is Next to Impossible,” I too encountered his evil nemesis, the Crud monster, when spring cleaning my home for my friend’s arrival.
I’d hoped the threat of Crud would pass even though dangerous cannisters of bathroom cleaner and dishwasher tablets — not good for her small children to find — lurked behind kitchen and bathroom cabinets. I felt surrounded by mounds of filing on my writing desk, and reams of paper, and orphaned items which filled every room.
Just like Christopher Robin’s friends rescued him from the clutches of Crud, my daughter rescued me by helping me clean and straighten my guest bedroom until it was fresh and lovely. The reordered room reminded of how Christopher Robin’s mum exclaimed that his room was “clean as a whistle”. Despite our sore muscles, my daughter and I rested in satisfaction as we waited for our friend’s arrival.
My spring-cleaning project reminded me that my soul needed extra polishing and scrubbing.
Sometimes my mind shoved unbiblical thoughts under the bed of my daily life; thoughts that often took on a life of their own. Sometimes these thoughts were covered with doubt and discouragement and smelled of earthly thinking. Thoughts like these need to be disinfected by God’s Word. Often, I forgot to wash the windows of my soul with worship music or restore order to my jumbled life by reading my Bible, having godly conversation, and praying.
In 1 Samuel chapter two, Samuel’s mother, Hannah, offers wisdom for spring cleaning out souls. Even though Hannah was loved by her prominent husband, her life was a mess. Her infertility had distracted her worship and focus on the Lord. And Peninnah, her husband’s other wife, provoked her sore about it. Hannah’s life was a mess even though she was loved by her prominent husband.
Hannah’s story offers three tips for spring cleaning our souls.
- Use the right cleaning products to polish your soul.
- Use them effectively.
- Allow God to shine up your perspective.
Hannah knew that she needed to set aside a time to pray specifically to cleanse her soul of bitterness. She accomplished this with a prayer of praise.
As Hannah rejoiced when the Lord opened her womb, I too need to reach past discouragement, failure, and the enemies lies to was away my negative emotions. I needed to take time to wipe away anything ungodly and thank God for all that He is doing in my life. When I do, my chaotic feelings vanish, and hope rises.
How do you know when you’ve accomplished spring cleaning for your soul? Like Hannah, we can resume a regular life, unencumbered by a smudged soul that blurs God’s perspective. We can relax after the hard work of returning our souls to being “clean as a whistle” and enjoy the presence of the Lord as never before.
And, like Christopher Robin’s friends, Tigger and Piglet, our companions in our own faith journey can help with the cleanup. Not only will we enjoy our new life with Christ to an even greater extent, we will also influence others who to join us!
The next time you wash and scrub, think about Hannah’s advice for freshening up your soul with a little extra spring cleaning:
- Set aside special time to pray.
- Pray specifically.
Allow God to give your perspective a shine.