I never clean more thoroughly than when the exterminator comes. He’s coming today, and all day yesterday I was preparing for him. I clean closets, vacuum the rooms, clean under the beds, scrub the bathrooms, sweep and steam mop, and pull out the couch to clean underneath it. You’d think I was preparing for royalty. And all this for a visit that takes less than half an hour.
The reason I go to so much trouble for our exterminator is simple: he goes everywhere. He sprays around as many baseboards as he can, and that includes dark and messy places like closets, where cockroaches love to hide. I pull away furniture from the walls so he can spray behind it, but that always reveals junk that’s been pushed underneath or dust bunnies that have accumulated. The exterminator even sprays underneath bathroom sinks and down the drains of the tubs, so I need to have the bathrooms clean as well. It’s like he searches for the dirtiest places of the house. There’s nowhere to hide last-minute junk. He sees it all.
As daunting as it is to have a practical stranger coming into every room and every closet of our house, it’s much more intimidating to have someone know and see your every thought and desire. We hide our deep dark secrets and thoughts from the people around us, but we can’t fool God. He sees everything.
We read in Job 34:21-22, “For His eyes are on the ways of a man, and He sees all his steps. There is no gloom or deep darkness where evildoers may hide themselves.” Hebrews 4:13 takes that a step further. “And no creature is hidden from His sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.” Yikes. That’s pretty uncomfortable language. “Naked and exposed”? Couldn’t the author of Hebrews have picked a slightly less vivid description? And yet, before God, that’s how vulnerable we are. We can’t hide anything.
To unbelievers, that thought should be scary and intimidating. It’s all Law, reminding them that they will have to give an account to God, their Judge, for their thoughts, words, and deeds. But for the believer, the verses above are actually Gospel. God knows all our shortcomings and yet stands ready to help us in our need. The verse from Hebrews is followed by a beautiful assurance: “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with us in our weaknesses but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 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” (Hebrews 4:15-16).
We can approach God with confidence, trusting in His mercy and grace. Even though He knows our every thought, He still loves us and accepts us as His own. What a comforting thought. We don’t need to hide anything from Him; we couldn’t anyway. Instead, He stands ready to clean all those dark corners of your heart. We can pray with the psalmist, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10).
My house isn’t going to be spotless when the exterminator gets here, even though I’ve been preparing all weekend. Neither could I ever cleanse my heart by myself. But I don’t have to. God has already done that for me. Thank God that I can’t hide anything from Him.