Cleaning Up the Poop

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23-24

It was that time again.  Time to clean up the poop in the backyard.  With three dogs, you can imagine how much I look forward to this.  For a long time, we used a shovel to pick it all up, but a few years ago, I bought one of those pooper-scoopers from Wal-mart, and let me tell you – the best $10 I ever spent!  With a simple squeeze of the handle, the two claws grab and lift up the mess my dogs left behind.  Awesome!  But as easy as the pooper-scooper makes the job, it’s still a stinky, sweaty job – especially when it’s 100 degrees outside.


This weekend, I noticed how the drought had caused the grass to become brown and flat.  Without the lush green grass, the little “piles” where much easier to see and pick up.  As I worked across the yard and the sweat began dripping down my back, I realized picking up the poop in my backyard was a lot like cleaning up the poop in my own life. 
When the grass in green and full, the poop is still there, it’s just harder to see. Hidden beneath the tall abundant blades, it’s often not discovered until stepped in.  But during this season of drought, there’s really no place for it to hide – it’s pretty obvious where the poop lies, and when it’s time to clean it up. 
What if that’s the point of the seasons in our own lives?  What if the “drought” seasons are God’s way of helping us to see the “messes” in ourselves?  Not so we feel overwhelmed, but so we can truly see the spots that need to be cleaned up?  Maybe these are the ones we were trying to hide beneath our own blades of grass, or maybe spots of which we aren’t even aware.
In David’s psalm, he asks God to search his heart – to test him and know his thoughts, and to see if there is any offensive way in him.  David’s desire was to be close to God, to rid his heart of anything that would keep him from God’s presence.  He asks God to lead him in the way of everlasting.
If our desire is like David’s – to be close to God – must we not also ask God to reveal to us anything that is offensive?  To search us and know us, and reveal to us things we must confess to Him?  Must we not also be confident of this, that he who began a good work in us will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus (Phil 1:6)?  For our God is good and faithful.
The Spirit does not reveal to us areas in our lives that we need to change, He reveals areas in our heart that God wants to change.  Areas that can only be “picked up” by Him.  Our job is to confess those things to Jesus and ask Him for the strength to overcome.  It is only by His power, grace, and mercy that the “messes” are cleaned up. 
Seasons of drought can be some of the most difficult seasons in our life.  But if the drought reveals the things keeping me from a flourishing relationship with my Savior, I understand the “reason for the season”.  Maybe it’s during those times that God is using a “pooper-scooper” in me and at the end of the season, I can thrive and bloom for Him, with nothing hiding underneath.


Dear Jesus,

Thank you for dying for my sins.  Thank you for your gentleness and patience.  Please help me to see those things that need to be “cleaned up” in my life.  Help me to overcome and trust in You.  Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
In Your Precious Name,

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