Is it time to clean the junk drawer?

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By Jon Rohr

In every home we have ever lived in, we have had a junk drawer. It is usually in the kitchen somewhere and it collects just about everything. Looking for a rubber band? It’ll probably be in the junk drawer. Looking for one of those wire tie things? Junk drawer. What happened to the scissors? They are probably hiding in the junk drawer.
I actually have another junk drawer on my desk. It holds paper clips and staples, things that I need occasionally, but not often. It also has an old lock sitting in there and a bunch of keys to who knows what. Occasionally I’ll dig in it and find an old cough drop when I need one. (Do those things have an expiration date?)
The junk drawer can hold some valuable stuff, things we need from time to time. But it can also hold real junk, stuff that clutters up our lives, stuff that makes it hard to find what we need. That’s probably why every once in a while we need to clean out the junk drawer. Throw away the real junk that gathers there and sort out the things we really need.
Over time, our lives can come to resemble the junk drawer. Lots of stuff in there, some we need, but some real junk accumulates along the way. Psalms 139:23-24 says, “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” (NIV). The psalmist is asking for God’s help in cleaning out the junk. Asking for God to open the drawer and test what is inside.
Just like a junk drawer, sometimes our hearts need a little spring cleaning. Whenever I clean out my junk drawer, I often find forgotten treasures. It could be a few dollars I dropped in there one night, or maybe a keepsake I had forgotten about that brings a sweet memory. Testing our hearts may remind us of some forgotten blessing, some friend whose kind words helped us out in a time of need. Maybe even a sermon you once heard that helped you know and love the Lord better.
At the same time, the junk drawer does collect junk. Why do we keep broken rubber bands or business cards from five years ago? We do the same things in our lives. Sometimes we collect things that don’t do us much good. We collect things that may even hurt our walk with the Lord or our relationships with friends and family. Bitterness over a long past incident. Guilt over a sin long forgiven. Perhaps even hidden sins that we need to take to the cross for forgiveness.
At home or in our hearts, the junk can build up over time. When was the last time you cleaned out your junk drawer? When was the last time you asked the Lord to search your heart? It is never too late; He is always waiting for his children to come to him.