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The Importance of a Clean Filter

February 28, 2015

In January I wrote about some lessons I have learned while going through a time of chronic pain. I mentioned that since late last summer I have been struggling with a severe and intense pain in my body. At times it took my breath away. My life and the way I lived it were severely altered. A lot of physical activity made it worse. There were days where I couldn’t do anything but sit in my recliner and take meds that barely touched the discomfort. Some days I felt stuck and trapped not knowing why I was going through this. After many different tests and opinions I went to a specialist. The diagnosis was that I had some nerves that were either hyper-sensitive or just simply not working correctly. The solution the specialist came up with was surgery to completely remove the nerves that were causing the pain. Long story short… I had the surgery at the end of January. The pain has almost completely disappeared. Now I’m looking forward to slowly gaining the freedom of being able to move about again!

Now back to daily life…

One night last week I decided to cook dinner. Since I can’t cook in a messy kitchen, I emptied the dishwasher from the previous time it ran and put a new batch of unclean vessels into the dishwasher and let it do what it was intended to do.

After my exotic gourmet meal consisting of chicken, rice and organic veggies was almost complete I heard something that didn’t sound right - flowing water onto a hard surface. I immediately noticed the dishwasher I had ran about a half hour earlier was not just leaking, but water was coming out of the bottom of the door like a waterfall. After quickly stopping the dishwasher and cleaning up the newly formed sea of dishwater from the kitchen floor, I started to investigate what caused this monstrous leak.

After tearing apart the inner workings of our dishwasher, down deep was a fine mesh filter. That filter had become completely blocked by an immeasurable amount of finite particles, not allowing the slightest drop of water to escape through the drain. It’s not like we put some large hairy creature in the dishwasher and ran it the night previously, thus clogging the filter immediately. No, this has been a result of not checking and cleaning the filter for a long time.

It doesn’t matter if it’s food particles in a dishwasher or nerves that aren’t functioning the way they should, if there is something that’s causing us to not function properly regardless if it’s physically or spiritually, we can’t just sit there and wait for it to come to a head. If it’s something that needs to be dealt with, don’t put it off, deal with it immediately. If there something that needs to be removed, no matter how big or small, get it out of there!

I’m not sure if this is something I’ve written on before in this monthly devotional. I may have. But this is something that the Holy Spirit has laid on my heart  in my own life a lot lately and I need to share. We need to be in constant communication with the Holy Spirit asking Him to show us what garbage is collecting on the filters in our hearts and minds, just like that filter in our dishwasher. I remember when our children were still in diapers. When we changed a particularly ripe diaper we didn’t just put it in the garbage can next to the changing table. We got it out of the house because we didn’t want that stink to assault our senses. The same can be said with any garbage in our lives that could pollute our hearts. Deal with it and get it out so it doesn’t affect your relationship with Your Heavenly Father. When you honestly ask the Holy Spirit to reveal those things that are blocking clear communication with Him, he will show you. Once it’s revealed, ask Him to remove it with surgical precision.

1 Thessalonians 5:7 sums this up clearly. “Never stop praying.” It’s simple, it’s concise, it’s needed. As important as time alone with our Savior is, it’s not always possible to be in our prayer closet. We have jobs, families, commitments. I know this fact to be true: it’s important for us to be in continual communion with Him; inviting Him to our lives and seeking Him throughout our days. In doing so, He’ll reveal what may be clogging our spiritual filters so we may be continual harmony with our Revealer of Mysteries.

Father God, we aren’t yet with You. The beauty You’ve created in this world doesn’t even come close to the perfection You are preparing for us. Amongst the splendor of this world is junk; junk that can easily infiltrate our hearts and minds. Just like nerves that aren’t functioning properly, we ask that You would show us what needs to be removed completely and without hesitation. Lord, as You do, I pray we would be obedient to You and surrender those sins to You, trusting that You will be at work in our hearts.

TIM LABRECHE