I’m sitting in my dining room writing. Outside my window are people preparing my house to be painted and reroofed. Today (Tuesday) they are doing the sloppy part of the job. They power sprayed the house. Now one man is scraping loose paint off and caulking the cracks. The other man is sawing away pieces of rotten soffit so he can replace it with solid wood.
I’ve never watched this process before. But today, I have a perfect view. The soffit man took his crowbar and loosened the outer pieces of wood. Then, he took the saw down the middle of the soffit and pryed away the wood from the edges with his crowbar again. When the wood gave way, it unleashed lots of debris…rotten insulation along with dust and debris came flaking down on him. What a mess!
It was interesting to see all the gunk that was hidden behind the painted trim. Some of it was water damage from some areas of rottenness in the roof above it. As he cleaned and pulled away the rotten wood, soffit man made sure he was fixing the area in a way that would make room for the good, new wood. He kept cleaning away the mess. Prying, crowbarring, hammering with a chisel…if it had feelings, that part of the soffit would have been screaming in pain!
Finally, he had a clean area. The rotten wood was gone. It was ready for good, hard, healthy wood. He replaced the empty spot with a new soffit that is clean and unpainted. It’s all ready for a new coat of paint.
A REMINDER OF WHAT HAPPENS IN MY HEART
What a visual for me! It reminds me of how easy it is for me to forget how rotten things can grow in my soul. I get busy and don’t see what is happening in my life. I passed that doorway many times a day and never noticed the dip in the roof, the flaking on the trim in this back section of the house. It sat there and grew with each passing year!
Fortunately, our need to sell the house put us in a position to have someone look at the roof and soffits. They found the rotton spots. They knew how to repair them and bring together a team that could fully fix the problem.
That is often the part the Church plays in our lives as we are involved and active. GOD’s Word that is taught in classes and in sermons speaks to us as do other aspects of our worship services. Of course, the Holy Spirit superintends all that is happening as GoD is doing His sanctifying work in us.
As we live in community with each other, our brothers and sisters in Christ see our rottenness more quickly than we do. They can often speak the truth, in love, and initiate the process of healing and repentance.
Sometimes it happens more indirectly as their rottenness rubs against our rottenness…and sparks fly, to mix the metaphors! Often, when that happens, we want to leave and go somewhere else…but that is where GOD is working on our sanctification…in painful ways. The crowbar is tearing away that rotten wood and cleaning it out so He can make something beautiful!
Part of what it means to repent, a churchy term for dealing with the rottenness, is that we must open our eyes to it. Then we must allow GOD to cut it out of our lives no matter what it costs, no matter how painful! Not an easy thing for us.
Of course, we would love this change to happen with the snap of a finger, but often we must become part of a process of change that frequently includes discipline, perseverence, changing our natural way of living life, failure and experiencing GOD’s grace as we become even more aware that we don’t deserve it!
The process of change is rarely easy. Developing the ability to trust GOD, to acknowledge our frailty, to humble ourselves and seek forgiveness not only from Him, but from the people we fail…and then to not be overwhelmed, but get up and keep moving by faith…in Christ alone.
- He is the only One who can give us the courage to move on honestly in the face of the rottenness we are aware of.
- He is the only One who can give us the courage to change.
- He is the only One who can give us the courage to face the rottenness that we know will show up again in the future.
- And to know that because of His grace, we are forgiven because of Christ!
DO YOU HAVE AN AREA OF ROTTENNESS IN YOUR LIFE THAT NEEDS GOD’S INTERVENTION?
ARE YOU WILLING TO HAVE HIM CUT IT AWAY NO MATTER WHAT HE TAKES WITH IT?
NO MATTER HOW PAINFUL?