Patience in the physical and spiritual remodeling process.
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Sometimes when I am extremely frustrated with life, myself, or just need to understand what is going on in my head, . . . I journal. I write down whatever comes into my head and get it all out. As I go through this process, sometimes at the end, I sense what’s really going on and I hear God’s speak quietly in my soul.
As I did this exercise recently and was writing about feeling like a failure, a hypocrite, a mess, a tired Christian. After I was done, God gave me these words:
“I cannot look upon my own inadequacy with peace.”*
I couldn’t help but think, no wonder I have no peace.
My old farmhouse is like me, . . . so in need of repair. An aging structure with glimpses of glory in years gone by. My weaknesses are like rooms that need to be restored. He sees the cracks in the walls, the old wall paper. The lack of insulation in my walls. The unstable foundation. The ugly floor that I cover with a rug. He sees it all and still asks to move in .
And he takes his hammer and starts working on a wall. He sweeps the dirt off the floor, tears down the wallpaper and puts on new bright paint. He slowly remodels me one small part at a time . He gives me time. He doesn’t rip down all the walls at once. But he sees the final home and he is willing to work with me where I am right now. With all my broken windows, cracked walls, cobwebs and lack of warmth, He still makes His home in me. He knows what will be found when demolition starts. He’s willing to tackle the job, to repurpose, redeem me when others say I am not worth it. He loves this old girl with her wrinkles and scars. With her faults and fears.
I want it all fixed right now. I want new walls, floors, paint and counters. I want shiny lights and gleaming fixtures. I want clean, new, bright and
beautiful. But just as the farmhouse is taking lots of time to remodel, so am I. When God’s presence moved into my life, although I became his daughter immediately through adoption, I didn’t look much like Him. It is a slow, painful process. This house which has seen neglect for many years will not become a place of peace, warmth, and beauty overnight, nor will I.
As I look on my own frailty and inadequacies, I realize I am a structure God was willing to take residence in no matter how bad I looked. Just as we didn’t walk away from an 118 year old farm house, but saw the beauty and potential, God didn’t look at me and say “It will take too much work and time. She’s not worth it. ” He did just the opposite.
“God chose to make his home in me, even though he knew exactly what he was getting into.”*
Lord, help me to be patient with myself and your remodeling process in me. To accept my own weaknesses and not berate myself for them because You are willing to live with me here.
* From Simply Tuesday, by Emily P. Freeman p. 185-6.