Hi, this is Pastor Ken, I want to welcome you to my Thoughts on a Thursday Podcast where I take some regular occurrence or personal story from my life and connect it to a scriptural truth. So here are my thoughts on this Thursday, June 29th  2023…Vacuuming The Pool

A few days ago I was up earlier than normal and having noticed the day before that the pool needing vacuuming, I decided to do it during the coolest part of the day. Though I don’t enjoy that particular task when the sun is high in the sky and quite hot, I do find it relaxing early in the morning or later in the evening. When my boys and I erected the pool some years ago, in our haste, we didn’t get the bottom of the liner stretched as tightly as we should have. As a result there are now quite a few small folded creases in the pool bottom that cannot be corrected at this point because of the weight of the water keeping them from shifting. As I said these are numerous but small so they don’t really cause any problems…Except that the dirt carried into the pool on the feet of our veritable tribe of grandchildren seems to invariably find its way into those folds and crevasses. Before long, the dirt in those folds begin to look like so many dark lines on the bottom of the pool notifying me that it needs the attention of the vacuum.

As I was standing there slowly moving the vacuum head back and forth paying close attention to the dark lines of the folds in the liner I began to think about how the task I was engaged in was analogous to the cleaning God does in our lives. I am far from omniscient, but I know the dirt exists even though much of it may be hiding from my sight. It is my pool, I look into it daily, and I am well aware of its contents. Jeremiah 23:24 talks about our inability to hide ourselves or our actions from God. In the New King James Version, it says, Can anyone hide himself in secret places, So I shall not see him?” says the Lord; “Do I not fill heaven and earth?” says the Lord. There is nothing that takes place in our lives that escapes the oversight of God. As the supreme, all-powerful, Creator He must necessarily be and is greater than all that He has created. God is so immense and all-encompassing that there is nothing He has fashioned that is devoid of His presence. We can look at this in either of two ways. We can choose to see Him as an intrusive authoritarian who is always watching us trying to catch us doing some wrong. Or, we can find Him to be our Heavenly Father whose love for us is so immense and intense that He desires to walk so closely to us that nothing that impacts us, escapes Him.

When I busy myself cleaning the pool I do so because I know the danger of leaving it uncared for. Much of the dirt in the pool is of an organic kind. Grass clippings, leaf particles, and things of that nature that get into the pool become waterlogged and slowly sink to the bottom. With the constant moving water propelled by the pump and children swimming those seemingly trivial pieces of debris tuck themselves into those small folds I mentioned. Once there, algae spores can attach themselves and if not vacuumed out regularly the dirt will essentially begin to grow and multiply. If I neglect to insert myself into that process by daily inspecting the pool water, soon the water will lose its clarity and become cloudy. If this were to happen and I remained uninterested, it would soon turn green and be unsuitable for swimming in.

I don’t look at myself as a busy-body because I check on the condition of my pool daily. I don’t think of my interest in the pool as being motivated by the frustration of potentially dirty water. I invest my time in the condition of my pool because I want the water to be clean so that it can be enjoyed by my children and grandchildren.

God does not desire to be an intrusion in our lives, He wants His ever-present nature to be a blessing to us. I don’t think He hopes He will have to remove sin found in our lives, I believe He hopes that the righteousness of Christ living in us will keep us clean and seeking increased righteousness in our thoughts, words and actions. His plan is that as Christ increases in our lives our sinful nature decreases. God’s great love for us and our healthy spiritual condition motivates Him to continuously look into, and at the condition of, our hearts and minds.

Psalm 139 is all about God’s constant, loving oversight. The first six verses speak specifically to how close He pays attention to us…O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord. You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand! God pays such close attention to our lives because He loves us so much.

When I notice the debris accumulating in my pool I have to get the vacuum out because I do not want the dirt to have an adverse effect on the clarity and health of the water. God also is willing to enter our lives and clean us when necessary so that the sin doesn’t find a foothold and multiply. The final verses of Psalm 139 speak to King David’s invitation for the cleansing work of God. Verses 23 and 24 say this, Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.

When we invite the Holy Spirit’s conviction into our lives it is intended to be a positive experience. Don’t get me wrong, it is difficult at first, but the more you see the benefits of His redemptive work in your life the more grateful you become for His conviction. I don’t enjoy finding that sin has crept in, and what offends God should offend me, but the fact that sin is being pointed out so that it can be cleaned up should be cause for gratitude. Thankfully if God points our sin out, and we respond with repentance, He will clean us up. 1st John 1:9 says If we confess our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. That is worth being happy about.

So now, inviting the Holy Spirit’s convicting and redemptive power into your life so that you can be cleansed of the impurities that make their way in, thank God for the close eye He keeps on you and…Go be Awesome!