"SKUNK!" That was the word out of my mouth as I scrambled to the back door to get the dogs in from their late night potty break. If you have ever smelled a skunk's spray just once before, you will never have trouble identifying it again...ever. You may also know that not only is that odor smelly but is very hard to remove, from anything it comes in contact with...in my case, the dogs! Since I know that skunks only spray as a defense mechanism, I also knew how my dogs love a challenge and in this one they surely lost.
Let me back up a bit to share what lead to our little backyard visit with Mr. or Mrs. Skunk (both male and female spray by the way). Before I get sidetracked and give you a mini lesson about how, when and where the skunk sprays, let me stick with the story... ANYWAY...for the past several weeks, contractors have been restoring a house whose backyard is adjacent to mine. This house has sat abandoned for several years and though the township kept the outside tidy, it still was an unoccupied house. The trees and shrubs were trimmed, even in the backyard, but even though it gave the appearance on the outside that all was okay, there was much deterioration going on inside.
During the restoration process of this house, as the workers went inside, a whole lot of stuff had to be ripped out and disposed of, which was evident by the large dumpsters that were filled and emptied on a regular basis. A house that had sat for that many years was bound to have some critters and insects move in to have a safe abode, hence the presence of the Pest Control truck outside the house. These pests were unwanted "guests", but heck they figured no one was chasing them out and plus it was probably very comfortable...
During the moving and shaking process of restoring this house, it rattled and upset the comfortable "home" of some critters. I know this to be true because, it is totally off season for skunks to be so openly out and about. So you guessed it! All that "shake, rattle and rolling in restoring that house got the skunk family out and moving.with their tiny suitcases... right under the fence to my backyard and the rest is history...well sorta history, if you don't count that I'm STILL trying to get the odor out of a section of one of my dog's fur.
That experience got me to thinking about us as believers, well... let me just speak about myself. For so many years I have believed in, loved and hopefully served God. On the outside I always try to exude a good Christian example, nothing wrong with that right? But guess what folks??? God is so much more concerned and interested in what's going on inside of us.
As Pastor Abie puts it "God confronts us". God confronts us about what things we need to change because He loves us and wants us to become all that He knows we can be in Him. Hebrews 4:13 saysAnd there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account." Okay, since God sees all and knows all, then why haven't I been annihilated or zapped from above with only a grease spot on earth remaining? Because He loves me...so He "confronts me" about the things in my life that may not be evident to others, but He knows they are not good for my growth and relationship with Him and with others as well.
The critters in that abandoned house had settled in and were comfortable, when it came time for restoration; the process caused them to be exposed. In order for the restoration to be done correctly the critters had to go!
In my life, the Lord has been confronting me ever so gently and lovingly about some things that need to be ousted in order for me to grow in Him. Things I thought I never had, things I thought never affected me, things I had become so comfortable with I hardly knew they were but had taken root so firmly until only the Holy Spirit could shine a bright light on, expose and reveal to me. I had become comfortable with those things, but after being exposed they had to go!
Being exposed is not a bad thing, you see, I have learned through the teaching of the Word of God these past few years that "God only exposes to heal". When God reveals, it is not to tear down , but to build up. When those contractors were restoring that house in my neighborhood, all that ripping out and throwing away of the debris and critters was not to tear down the house but to make it better!
If God today is "confronting" you about some things that you know should not be in your life, let Him do the work, let Him in His wonderful Love restore you. You have nothing to lose, only to gain. Open your doors wide and let Him come in and expose you in love as only He can. He wants to make you better.
Unfortunately when we see folks that are publicly exposed, I believe that is not the way God intended. God is long suffering and will constantly speak to our hearts about things we need to change, but it is up to us to make the choice on rather to obey or not.
Philippians 1:6 says being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."
Father God, help us today to submit to the work that you are doing in us. Let us hear your voice and obey. We want to be better, we want to be what You have created us to be in and on this Earth. Restore us Oh God, expose us, reveal to us what needs to be removed and what needs to be built up; so that we can help to build your kingdom on earth as it is in heaven...Amen