I don’t know about you, but I am constantly fighting clutter. When I used to have a roommate, after straightening up my room or desk, I’d ask them to come and look at the blinding wonder of neatness—it would last maybe until evening.

When I married Rich I got rid of a lot of stuff, and when he died and I returned to Israel, I got rid of even more. So now my clutters don’t look nearly as bad as they used to. But they are there.

Dare I share that I’ve often pondered that my cluttered closets, drawers, and cabinets may be a symptom of something deeper—a cluttered soul? I am often full of so many thoughts, ideas, and questions—for one reason or another I put off doing my “soul” cleaning. But it’s just like cleaning house… a good quiet time with Jesus does wonders for decluttering my soul.

That’s what I did this morning, had a good decluttering time with my Lord, and came away amazed at His gracious goodness all over again. I was reminded again of my hope, which as it says in Hebrews 11:1, is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

Later, at a potluck, I noted a Russian woman in our congregation sitting by herself. I came up to her. “How are you?” But her eyes belied the “OK,” which she qualified with, “As OK as I can be under the circumstances.”

She shrugged and I asked her if it was hard to explain because of language. She nodded. But we still kept talking. She asked how my back was, and I told her it was feeling better. She asked what kind of work I do. I shared that I used to be a nurse, but it was just too hard physically and I had switched into English editing/writing. And that opened her heart. She is a nurse and is struggling with her health because of the difficult physical work. She is considering a course, but it won’t be easy—because of language.

We were able to encourage one another and I gave her a ride home. Her husband had left earlier to get ready for work. Because we were driving, we passed him in the road and I was able to pick him up. It was a small thing.

But my cluttered heart would not have had room for them if I had not had my decluttering time with Jesus this morning.

Why am I sharing this? I think many of us struggle with spiritual clutters of one kind or another. I would like to encourage you, and perhaps you can encourage me, don’t declutter tomorrow what can be decluttered today.

As it is also written in Hebrews 4:

14 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.