In the mid 1970’s, my sweet abuelos moved into a 2-bedroom townhouse that sat on a lake. Over the years, they have hosted countless holiday dinners, served tons of Cuban coffee, and charmed all the neighbors. That happy little house is home to many who feel wrapped in their love when they cross its threshold.
As my grandparents have aged, however, the house has started to show signs of decay — signs that my grandfather refuses to properly address. Rather than replace the tattered roof, countless minor repairs have patched holes. When it rains, water seeps in, but he excuses it away as a minor nuisance caused by too much wind.
Today, my dear hubby spent a couple of hours trying to repair several kitchen cabinets and drawers that according to my grandmother had “suddenly broken” — she expressed horror when my dad suggested that her 40-year old kitchen should really just be gutted and completely redone. The house is falling apart at the seams, but my grandparents are at home in the ruins.
I may shake my head in disbelief at their lack of due diligence in routine home maintenance, but the fact is that God often shines a light on my soul and says, “See that spot right there — it’s leaking. That hole in your heart needs some attention.” Sadly, my response often mirrors my grandparent’s atrophy and blindness. I just don’t want to be bothered.
This week as I was digging “Into the Word,” I came across a letter from God to a group of very loving, sincere people – He commended the Ephesian disciples for their hard work and perseverance, but He pointed out that they had “forsaken their first love” (Revelation 2:4). In the Greek, the word “forsake” implies
- to disregard
- to refuse to discuss now
- to omit, neglect
- to leave, go way from
- to desert wrongfully
- abandon, leave destitute
Somehow, I don’t think the Ephesians woke up one day and decided to forsake God. I don’t think they even realized that they had strayed. Thankfully, verse 5 provides a step by step “routine maintenance” plan:
- Remember therefore from where you have fallen — Do you remember a day when your heart felt more connected to God? Self examination is essential to maintaining your spiritual well-being.
- Repent — Spend time in prayer, confess your need for Him, and ask God to help you get back on track.
- Do the works you did at first — What are the spiritual disciplines that nourish your soul to love Him more? How can you intentionally exercise your faith and build up your spiritual muscles?
I want my heart to be a healthy, vibrant place that thrives in communion with God. Don’t you? How do you keep your heart’s home from decaying? I would love to hear from you in the comment section below.