I know, I know. I usually do this in the morning. My laptop was down. Bad cable. Son-in-law had a used one that works, so I’m back in business.
So. On Tuesday morning I’m going to be having a sacroiliac fusion surgery. The doc will make a small incision, put a couple of screws in the joint, and sew me back up. See, the joint isn’t supposed to move. When it does, it pinches nerves and creates most unpleasant pain. Why does it move if it isn’t supposed to? Because it’s crumbling. I’m old. I have degenerative joint disease. Such is life. I’m thankful for this repair that’s been developed to relieve the pain and stall the process a bit.
In preparation for the surgery, I have to be very clean. Five days before the procedure, I take a normal shower every night, followed by the use of an antibacterial cleanser provided by the hospital. Then I’m to wear fresh pajamas every night, and sleep on freshly laundered sheets. Monday night and Tuesday morning I’m also to use disinfectant body wipes after my shower.
They want to reduce the possibility of infection following the surgery. It could take only one tiny little germ to get through all that cleansing to start an infection. Microscopic little guy, but he could create lots of misery. So I’m following directions to a tee.
And I’ve been thinking about how careful we are to cleanse our bodies to prevent infection from setting in. We wash our hands, we brush our teeth, we bathe and we launder our clothing. People in some other nations think we Americans are “clean crazy.”
I’m wondering if we take anywhere near the same measures to cleanse our hearts before God; to keep from being infected by the bacteria of the world that will grow and cloud our thinking, our faith, and our behavior.
How do we do that kind of cleansing? A good place to start would be Psalm 139: 23-24:
“Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
We know this scripture passage. Some of us have it memorized. We even sing the song that was written using the exact words of the passage.
But do we apply it? Do we really mean it? Do we really want God to search us, and know what’s in the darkest closets of our hearts? Do we really want Him to test us, to discover what we’re thinking about? The KJV that I’ve quoted here says, “See if there be any wicked way. . .” Another translation could be, “See if there are any anxious or worried ways in my head and my heart.” Who among us is free of anxiety? Completely, fully trusting God every moment of every day? To do so requires consistent, faithful cleansing by way of confession and repentance. It requires diligence in spotting anything that would pollute our minds and hearts.
To be sanctified is, in part, to be perfectly clean. It is to be so clean that sin cannot find a place to enter, or to cling. It is to learn to have the mind of Christ, so that sin loses its appeal.
We need to take time to be holy.