A Good Cleaning

By Marcia Lee Laycock

It’s that time of year again – time for spring
cleaning. We’ve been doing a lot of it lately, and not just in our own home.
We’re helping missionary friends get their home ready to be put on the rental
market. It’s a big job and when we saw the condition of the house after the
last tenants moved out, we despaired of getting it done quickly. But when
several people showed up for a work bee, we were thrilled. They came with rags
and mops, rubber gloves and sponges, shovels and rakes, and they set about
giving the place a good cleaning.
There was a team assigned to the garage, one inside
the house and one outside. Before long the whole area was a hive of activity. I
was working with the crew inside so didn’t see what was happening outside until
it was almost time to leave. I was stunned when I saw the transformation. When
we arrived the yard had been matted with old leaves and grasses, a web of
winter mould laying on top. The flower beds were quite ugly, with dead growth
carpeting the soil, smothering anything that might have been trying to grow. 
Several men had gone to work with rakes and shovels
and the result was obvious. I was surprised to even see some green shoots
coming up in the lawn. Then a friend pointed out the bright green shoots in the
garden – crocuses, tulips and irises were pushing through. 
As I bent to examine them it made me think of the
work God does in our lives. We sometimes must look as dreary and dead as that
yard looked, layered with the leavings of old sin and covered with the webs of
guilt that threaten to smother us. But God is in the business of giving us all
a good cleaning.
How thankful we should be that Jesus has cleared all
the rubbish away, just as surely as those rakes and shovels cleaned that yard.
He did it by his death, the death we will celebrate in only a few short days.
It seems odd to say those two words in the same sentence – death and celebrate.
His is the only death I know of that is celebrated, by the people who say they
love Him. We celebrate it because His death means our release, His suffering
means our freedom and His mercy means we will have life everlasting. That’s why
we call it Good Friday. 
And that’s why we celebrate not just his death but
his resurrection, in this spring season called Easter. It’s a time when we
rejoice in knowing our redeemer lives because it means we have access to that
same life – resurrection life.
As Jesus said to his friend, Mary, “I am the
resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though
they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe
this?” (John 11:25,26). 
Mary said yes. Have you? 
As writers of faith this is essential. We cannot
produce the fruit of resurrection in our lives and through our work, unless we
believe and hold onto the One who was raised. When we stand on Easter Sunday
morning and shout, in confidence and boldness of faith, “He is risen!” may it
resound in our hearts with joy and absolute truth.
*****

Marcia Lee Laycock writes from central Alberta
Canada where she is a pastor’s wife and mother of three adult daughters. She
was the winner of The Best New Canadian Christian Author Award for her novel,
One Smooth Stone. Her second novel, A Tumbled Stone was recently short listed
in the contemporary fiction category of The Word Awards. Marcia also has two
devotional books in print. Her work has been endorsed by Sigmund Brouwer,
Janette Oke, Phil Callaway and Mark Buchanan. Abundant Rain, an ebook
devotional for writers can be downloaded here. Visit Marcia’s Website