(This is an article I wrote March 10, 2009. I wanted to share this post with you again. It was one of the first posts I had written here in my Nest. I hope it will be a blessing to you today. Maybe just a reminder that it's not what is on the outside, but all about what is on the inside.)
I believe this is the year of my firsts. I have learned to crochet, to sew, and now to paint. Last night I got to paint with two amazingly, talented woman who are such a blessing to me. (Betsy and Ms. Joy) I am not quite sure if they really know how much they mean to me or just what they have brought into my life. The example they lead with and the loving wisdom they share with me opens my heart wider to all the Lord has for me as I grow in Him. Don't you love how He places people in your life that teach you? People who make an impact on your life by just being present.
We are doing a painting project, and when it is finished it will look so grand. As we were painting last night, I noticed I had paint everywhere. Not an easy task for this girl who has never painted before. We are painting the ladies bathroom at church. As you stand back you can see the work ahead of you, but not until you really get in there and get dirty do you realize just how much work is before you.
You have to get down in positions that are not so fun, and you have to stretch, and make sure your not dripping paint, (which I seem to have difficulty with!!!). We are painting over the walls. Making it look better. More beautiful, more soft, more inviting for the ladies of our church. Before we started painting, two great guys (Steve and Jake) came and sanded down the walls, and prepared for us what we could not do alone. They had to get all the old stuff off. All the old crud and build up. You know, the stuff that has to be removed in order for the new paint to shine. If that old paint isn't stripped off the new just won't shine bright. It will have a dull cast to it. We want the room to be inviting.
When I got home last night I started thinking about this room we are painting. It came to me that we are like those walls we are stripping away. Many times we just want to paint over the old stuff. Leaving behind all the old crud and chipping paint. We just cover it up, and move on, hoping everyone sees the beauty on the outside, and doesn't notice the underneath.
See, if we don't get the stuff off the walls first, we are going to have a problem. That paint isn't going to stick well, no matter how many coats we put on. Its like that with our sin. We get so use to it and we just keep covering it up. Over time it builds up and well, it just doesn't look pretty any longer. It is no longer inviting. No matter how much we try to decorate the outside the inside is still the same.
First, we have to realize we do have a sin problem. Our sin is like that old paint. We have to get in there with a scraper. It's a lot a hard work getting all that old junk out. It is especially hard to get all that splatter off of us. We search for cleaner or whatever we have handy to try to wash clean. We can try with all our might. We get to the point where we realize we can't do it alone. We need some help. This is where we understand we need God's grace and forgiveness. We can go to Christ and He knows just what to do. He knows right where to begin. For us to look more like Him, He will begin in our heart. Change is quite humbling and ever so sweet to be washed by our Savior.
It may take a while for us to get some jobs done right. Some seem to take longer than others, but look how beautiful they turn out when we take our time and do it right. When we can go to Him and He will clean our hearts out. When we get right with Him, we look beautiful on the inside. It doesn't take a lot of fluff to make the outside shine, since the inside is already shining with Gods glory. The next time you take on a project, don't just look at it and be overwhelmed at what is before you. Look at the project before you not as a job, but as an opportunity for Christ to do a work in you and through you.
Christ knows our past, present and future. He is waiting for us to put the brush down and allow Him to do some renovating. He is asking us to allow Him the room He needs to rebuild and refurbish what He has created in love.
"Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends You, and lead me along the path of everlasting life." Psalm 139:23-24
"Show me the right path, O Lord; point out the road for me to follow. Lead me by Your truth and teach me, for You are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in You." Psalm 25:4-5