I confess, my closet is not the tidiest. But all five of my kids were teenagers at about the same time. Nobody knows the closets I’ve seen.
I remember deciding at one point that if any of the teens’ closets were going to get straightened out, I was going to have to be in on it. Then I think I probably went and got a tetanus shot.
We started with Kaley’s. She was around 15. Being the word-minded person I am, I thought about the origin of the word “closet.” Isn’t it from the Greek, “closetorium,” which means “where the dog wouldn’t even throw up?”
Somewhere along the way, some of the disgust gave way to fascination. We were both riveted when we found broken crayons stuck to an old sucker stick. She told me it had been at least two years since she’d eaten a sucker. Took me ten minutes to throw it away. We found math papers from third grade, the box from a SpongeBob clock she no longer had and a VCR she had completely taken apart. Ten thousand VCR parts. You can’t even vacuum that.
That was about the time I seriously thought about just closing the closet door. And not opening any others. Boy, would it have been nice to just close my eyes to the whole thing and go back to my happy life of closet ignorance.
I probably don’t have to tell you that’s not always the best plan. Second Kings 6 tells of a time when a warring king had surrounded Elisha’s entire city. Army, horses, chariots – the works. A situation so much stickier than any old sucker. Elisha’s servant asked what in the world they were going to do and Elisha answered, “Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them” (2 Kings 6:16).
I have to imagine Elisha’s servant looking at the two of them, then the army, then him again with, “So … Elisha … math is not exactly your thing, right?” But Elisha did something amazing that he really didn’t have to do. He asked God to open his servant’s eyes. And He did. Verse 17 says, “So the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elijah.” Wow! I love picturing that mountainful. A heavenly army – one that numbered more than the miscellaneous parts of any number of VCRs.
O Lord, forgive me every time my faith is as small as my earthly vision. I can too often be like Thomas who wouldn’t believe until he could see for himself. Jesus’ words to Thomas: “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:29).
Seeing is believing. But believing without seeing? That’s real faith. Do you ever wonder what the Heavenly Father might be doing this very minute that we can’t see? Do we trust him in complete faith even when he doesn’t “open our eyes” to those things?
I want an eyes-wide-open faith! A dogged faith.
Which, incidentally, has nothing to do with any kind of closetorium.
Rhonda is a pastor’s wife, happily married and living in the St. Louis area. She is a humor columnist for publications in the U.S. and Canada and is the author of 10 books with more on the way. She says she will keep cranking them out as long as the Lord allows. –And the psychoses hold out.