Since most people have carpet, dust bunnies aren’t as noticeable as they were when we had hardwood (or linoleum) floors. Because we spent little time under our beds, they went unnoticed. If we dropped something and bent down to retrieve it – WHOA! “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust”…it looked like someone was either coming or going!
The only place dust bunnies collect isn’t under furniture, though. Our mind is a great gathering place, too.
These, however, are not so innocuous. They are comprised of sin; either those we’ve committed and don’t want anyone to know about, or those committed against us that we somehow feel responsible for and don’t want anyone to know about.
The priests of Ezekiel’s day had dust bunnies, too. In chapter 8, God exposed them for everyone to see. Everyone. You can read the chapter and see them for yourselves. Yikes!
This isn’t a dusty Old Testament “Bible study,” but has relevance to us today. It has special application if you’ve been wounded!
Ezekiel was given a vision – an x-ray view into the temple. In it, he was shown what was taking place inside the temple.
He was shown every form of creeping things, and abominable beasts and all the idols of Israel…inside the temple!
In verse 12, God asks Zeke if he’s seen what they do in the dark – every man in the chambers of his imagery.
“For they say, ‘The Lord does not see us, the Lord has forsaken us.’ ”
This gets interesting, so don’t click “Like” and move on!
The word, chambers, is elsewhere translated, “inmost or inward parts.” Hmm; the Scripture that says, “God desires truth in the inward parts.” (Psalm 51:6)
Could there be a connection?
Built into the walls of the temple were chambers (Hebrew: cheder – not to be confused with cheese!). These were meant to be storage closets for the implements used in worship. The priests, feeling forsaken by God, hid their idols inside these chambers instead.
Things haven’t changed much.
As a child of God, you’ve been called to be a priest to the Lord (Rev. 1:6).
You are the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:19).
You have cheders…inward parts.
Every wound you’ve ever received…if it hasn’t been healed…is an idol.
Think I’m off my nut?
Let me ask you this: Have you ever had an over-the-top knee-jerk reaction to something someone said or did. Later you were a little confused and/or embarrassed by how big a deal you made out of a seemingly small thing?
Either to yourself or out loud you might have said something like, “My dad used to criticize me like this, and I’m not putting up with it anymore;” or “my ex used to treat me like a slave and I’ll be damned if I’m going to let anyone use me like that ever again.”
It’s not the words. There comes a time when we need to stand up and say, “No more!” It’s the reaction, the emotions that come up hot and heavy that indicate the presence of a dust bunny…an idol.
What happens today triggers old wounds and emotions. This is a dead giveaway.
Why would I call these wounds an “idol,” though?
Think this through with me.
An event takes place. Do we automatically reflect on what God’s Word says, or on His truths and respond appropriately? (“Excuse me. That tone of voice doesn’t work for me. If you want me to hear you, you’ll need to say that another way.)
Or do we (subconsciously, by the way) run to the memory of “been here before – never doing this again” and react? (“Who do you think you are to talk to me like that? You’re a jerk. Do it yourself!”)
In this case, we’ve gone to the hidden places – cheders of our heart, pulled out that old idol of memory, and “asked” it what we should do.
What we do when this happens is very telling: A Godly response = God is our God. A knee-jerk reaction = an old wound is our god.
I was astonished when I heard Nancy Missler teach about this. (Her book, Be Ye Transformed is excellent. I highly recommend it.) I had never seen my wounds quite this way before.
“Okay,” you say. “I have to admit that this happens to me. Now what?”
Here’s one of the ways I deal with these incidents:
1) Event occurs, and I notice that I reacted.
2) Take time to sit with the Lord and talk about it with Him. “Lord, would you show me when this first occurred?”
3) He brings to mind (usually) childhood experiences. I follow them back until I am fairly certain I’ve found the first occurrence.
4) I ask the Lord for His truth in the matter. Sometimes he brings a word or phrase to mind or a Scripture. (He never removes something detrimental without giving something life-giving in exchange! NEVER leave a vacant cheder. The enemy will just fill it with something else, and probably worse!)
5) I ask Him if there’s something He wants me to know about what happened. (This is rarely, “They did this because…” – which doesn’t help, but rather justifies their actions or words. Most of the time what He desires to show or tell me is something between Him and me, and brings healing.)
6) Find a Kleenex box…you’re probably going to need it. 😉
7) Thank Him for His revelation.
8) Repent of trusting in yourself rather than trusting God whenever something triggered a reaction because of this event.
9) Accept His forgiveness.
10) Watch in amazement the next time something should have “triggered” you, but instead you respond with grace and love.
This takes a bit of practice and – I won’t lie – hurts like crazy during the processing… But it’s THE LAST TIME!!!! You HAVE to know that the memory will not EVER again hurt you like it does now!
You may find it helpful to find a mature Christian to go through this with you. Until I learned how to work through things with the Lord on my own, Barb (my pastor’s wife) was a wonderfully patient assistant for this process.
To every reaction, there must be an equal and opposite action like this. If you are willing to take the time (and allow the pain of having your wounds cleaned out in this way), you will walk greater and greater freedom.
I am living proof! 🙂
Or, you can leave your cheders full of those old wounds and…
…the dust bunnies will eat you alive for the rest of your life.
This is one of many ways that Jesus brought healing to my deeply wounded heart. I’ll share other methods He used in the future.