I am blessed with a considerable amount of storage in my home. We have enormous closets, a ton of built-in cabinets, and a 4-car garage. I remember moving onto the ranch 3 years ago after living upstairs at my parent’s home for 18 months (with 4 children) and being so grateful and excited to finally have all our stuff out of storage. To put my hands on things and organize them so everything finally had a place was so exhilarating.
Aaaaannd then reality set in.
Life happened. We started out strong cleaning, opening boxes, putting things away, and designating areas for items being very practical and efficient. Somewhere around day four of our move-in, we went off the rails. Moving is literally the worst. I just wanted to be done! I was ready to feel settled. I was ready to burn the pile of cardboard in my living room in a sort of bonfire ritual with singing, dancing, and marshmallows on the end of a coat hanger. It was the end of a long, hard season in our lives. One where we had been somewhat “homeless”. I was ready to enjoy our new home. And so we started putting full boxes in our huge garage, stacking bins in closets, and shoving items behind cabinet doors where we could just deal with them later. Or never.
Every once in a while in my search for something, I will open a door or cabinet and see the unorganized pile and my heart will sink. Why didn’t I just do it right in the first place? Now it seems so overwhelming. And life. When would I possibly take on all this? So, I close the door and move on.
I have a true story of the most successful garage sale of all time. We lived in a tiny house near the lake in South Texas. We had two toddlers, and a baby on the way. I needed to make space and money, fast. I worked hard to clean items and display them attractively. I placed an ad and opened my garage door before dawn and watched anxiously as people fondled my items and offered me pennies instead of dollars. Around hour 4 of this nonsense, a woman came in and looked around and then approached me.
“I will give you $500 for everything”.
I stuttered in unbelief “Whaaat”?
“I will give you $500 for everything in here. I own a consignment store. You have nice stuff. I want it all. If you will shut down now, my husband and I will load everything up, sweep out your garage, and I will give you $500 cash”.
I graciously accepted. I had anticipated making at best $200 and calling Goodwill at the end of the day to haul off the unwantables. 20 minutes later my garage was completely clean and empty and I had $500 cash. I vowed to never have another garage sale again knowing all future attempts would just be disappointing.
These two real life scenarios are great examples of the difference in atonement and reconciliation in dealing with sin or the “clutter” of our souls. Atonement is often used in sermons or Hymns referring to Jesus and what He has done for our sins. But, that is theological and not scriptural. Atonement is an Old Testament term that refers to the sacrifice and covering of sins. Animals were sacrificed and their blood covered sins for one year. It was repeated every year to push back God’s wrath.
In comparison, the work of Christ was reconciliation, not atonement. Reconciliation is the restoration to favor. It is an exchange of righteousness for our shame. While atonement was a practice of covering sins by the blood of animals, Christ’s blood did not cover. It restored.
As I look at the clutter in my life, not just the physical, but the spiritual, I feel so thankful to my savior that I am restored and complete. As a believer, He sees me as perfected and holy. My sins are dealt with and forgiven. Once and for all. He did not close the door on my mess and promise to make it right later. And He isn’t waiting for me to recognize it so He can deal with it. He came in and said “I love you. I will take it all. The stuff you see as junk, I want it.” I am not simply covered by the blood of the lamb, I am washed clean, made new. Some days this is a hard pill to swallow. I still feel cluttered. I do not feel perfected. But, He only asks that I believe this truth.
It is finished.
this truth is a restful work and He gives me every portion of faith that I need to believe it.
No more garage sales needed. The work is done. Rest in His perfect work. It is not yours to worry about, to clean out, to organize, or prioritize. Abide in the one who loves you most. Start to live the way He sees you and He will take care of the rest.
Through Him everyone who believes is set free from every sin, a justification you were not able to obtain under the law of Moses.
1 Cor 15:56-57
For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. But thank GOD! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Who delivered us out of the power of darkness, and translated us into the kingdom of the Son of His love.
Enter His Rest, Stacey