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Chaplain's Corner

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23 Apr 2021 | Lt. Jason Everson Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:10 (NIV)

In my menu planning for the week, one of the things I try to account for is leftovers. Inevitably an unexpected event comes up and meal plans go out the window leaving the leftovers in the fridge.  We’ve all placed something in a container with the best intentions of eating it later, only to have it sit there and go to waste. Yes, it is one of the sad luxuries of an affluent society. Here’s what happens in my fridge from time to time. I’ll put something in there, forget about it, and then a few days later find it. I think to myself, I just need to dump that out, but instead I grab what I need out of the fridge and close the door. The next time I open the fridge it’s the same thing, and with each passing day the task becomes even more daunting. The problem is that every time I open the fridge the container is still there. Sure, I can hide it behind something else and push it further back in the fridge, but until I take it out things only get worse inside that container.

I think our hearts work the same way. We go through life and because we live in a broken world, we get hurt. Things are said to us that hurt and instead of dealing with that pain we put it in a container and store it away. We face a defeat, and we do the same thing. We falter morally, and again we store it away. Guilt, shame, anger and resentment-you guessed it, put a lid on it. After David was confronted with his sin with Bathsheba, he writes Psalm 51. He prays, “Lord create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me.” Essentially David is asking God to clear out the old Tupperware containers of his heart. 

Getting rid of old leftovers is never fun. Most of the time it’s downright disgusting. There comes a point where you just have to bite the bullet and toss it out. You take a deep breath, turn on the water and the garbage disposal, squint your eyes, rip of the top and dump it out. Then it’s gone! Do you know what happens the next time you go to the fridge? You open it up and that container is gone, no longer staring you in the face and mocking you. It is actually a very liberating feeling! Here is the good news, this is exactly what God wants to do with the leftovers in your heart.

The Chaplain’s Corner covers everything faith related.  Facts not attributed are purely the opinion of the writer.