Monday, August 13, 2012


by Debbie Paxton

We were all ready to go to the Ohio State Fair to see Casting Crowns, my husband, three daughters and myself. We wanted to avoid rush hour traffic in Columbus and were about to pile into the van when we heard a loud “CRASH” coming from upstairs. Running to investigate, we discovered my husband’s and my hanging clothes, rack and shelves, piled in a heap on the closet floor. On the wall were several large holes, where the shelf used to hang. It was a huge mess! We were short on time so we looked at each other, shrugged and walked out the door – leaving the mess for later.

This was the second time we had left this mess unattended to, which is why it came back to haunt us at an inopportune time. My youngest daughter had actually brought the entire thing down several months ago, when engaged in a contest to see how long she could hang from the bar. It was a Sunday evening and my husband had to work the next day. We wanted the shelf up quickly so he could have his clothes ready for work the next morning. Instead of clearing the whole thing out, calling the handy man and asking him to come fix the holes in the dry wall, reinstall the shelves and hang the rack correctly, my husband rigged up a temporary solution. Once the clothes were hung, the offensive holes were hidden. We conveniently forgot they were there and moved on.

But… the holes WERE still there. We could hang all the clothes we wanted over them, but the holes still existed even though we couldn’t see them. The shelves came crashing down – again – at an even less convenient time than the first. It was late when we arrived home that night. My husband was left picking through clothes very early the next morning, searching for a suit and tie from this mass of clothing on the floor. Still asleep, I’m not certain but I might have even heard a few swear words in the process.

As I cleaned up the mess later, Abba was speaking to my heart. So often, we try to cover the holes and brokenness in our lives. We go to church and smile. When asked how things are, we nod and say "great" when actually there are giant empty places inside, holes in our hearts, brokenness caused by addiction, idolatry, gossip or some other sin. But we cover those holes with beautiful clothing, a fake smile, or Christian service, hoping that somehow things will fix themselves. Meanwhile, the shelf is straining and the whole thing is about to topple, exposing us when we least expect it.

Are there any “holes” you are covering over, hoping they will disappear on their own?

Our God is a God of Truth. He wants us to face the holes in our lives. Not cover them over, but deal with them. Clear out your closet, let Him fill those holes with His love and healing. Then you can re-hang your life on a solid, strong wall that will hold up under the weight and strain of the day-to-day. It may seem easier to go for the quick fix, without addressing the real problem. But that will never last. Eventually it will all tumble down. Face the truth with Him! He loves you, will stand by you, and even help you clean up the mess, making you stronger than you were before.

I, for one, have pulled everything out of my closet and called the repairman.

Debbie is very happily married to Dave. She set aside her career to raise her three daughters. This past year, she re-entered her chosen field of counseling, this time with years of life experiences through which she is able to help others. She loves to work out, ride her bike on the trail, and hang out with the Lord.  She leads the prayer and intercession team at First Presbyterian Church in Mt. Vernon, Ohio.
She is a Woven Woman: a Woman of friend and personal prayer partner.  Thanks Deb, you're awesome!


  1. good reminder!!

  2. This is my devotion today. Loved it...spoke to me. Lord, show me the holes in my life I am covering up. Amen! Deronda Bryant

  3. Beautiful lesson, Debbie. Thank you for your sweet and thought-provoking wisdom. It also reminds me to be a good friend to others. After all, I never want to create holes be to be one of God's 'repairman' to those he loves.


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