It was called the “sewing room,” at least that was its intended purpose. My mom loved to sew, but with a job outside the home and another one of cooking, cleaning, gardening, canning, and chauffeuring her kids around town; she didn’t have much time to sew, except for emergency repairs.

The house was small when we moved in, it didn’t even have a basement, but it was one we could afford. My dad quickly laid out a plan of renovation that would expand the house to fit his family. First, he built on to the back of the house adding a large room for a kitchen, a dining area, a spot for the laundry, and even a small basement underneath. Then he remodeled the attic into two bedrooms – one for my sister, and the other for my brother and me.

At first, the “sewing room” was a temporary bedroom for us kids while dad remodeled the house. Then, it became a temporary storage room for building supplies, luggage, unused furniture, photo albums, Tupperware, etc. By now you’re getting the picture, the room became known as the “junk room.” And from this use, it never recovered.

When you had unwanted clothes, they went to the junk room. When we got a new kitchen appliance, some unused appliance was exiled to the junk room. Sleeping bags, board games, one of those old electric football sets, curtains, winter coats, and boots; the list was endless as to what you could find in that room. But mostly, it was unwanted junk that no one wanted to deal with. And when company was coming over, the junk room became a valuable place to stash things while tidying up the house.

Many of us have a place like this in our homes. Maybe it’s the basement, an upstairs room, or a closet that has become a hiding place for things we don’t want to deal with, and we certainly don’t want others to see. It’s a place that comes in handy when we want to make the public part of our home look a little better than what it usually looks like.

But isn’t it remarkable that unlike the way we so often clean our homes, gathering the things we want to hide and throwing them behind closed doors, God calls us to confess our spiritual junk, to name it, expose it, and experience his faithfulness in giving us his forgiveness. No spiritual junk room will help us in meeting him; we sinners cannot hide from God’s righteous and all-knowing gaze. But thankfully, because Jesus sacrificed himself for us sinners, God calls us to open the door of our junk rooms and receive his forgiveness.

“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:8-9)

Today, hear God’s invitation to breathe the fresh air of his forgiveness. And by the power of his forgiveness, open the door to that junk room and let his renovation begin, for he has already reconciled himself to you. To God be the glory.