Stripping Away the Layers (Part 2)

God really seems to be using my wallpaper situation to teach me some valuable lessons about life.  Some might say I think too much and others might wonder if I ever do.  However, I always feel like there is something to be gleaned from even the simplest of life circumstances.  We need to be watching and looking for God at work in our lives even if it is merely in everyday tasks of life.

I was very excited to get the entry way of our home done a couple of weeks ago.  That meant…wallpaper down, holes filled in, sanded, washed down and finally painted.  The last time we discussed wallpaper removal, I was focused on the laborious task of removing the wallpaper.  Little did I know that wasn’t the end.  After removing the paper, I found the walls to be way too rough to apply a new coat of paint and be done.  There were holes and scrapes to be filled in, then the need to be sanded.  Of course, the wallpaper glue needs to be washed off the surface as well.  Finally, after another few days, we could get some paint on the walls.

Isn’t this the way it is with being a new Christian as well?  We can pray, scrape and peel the old layers away but having those sins in our lives for so long, we now have some new issues to confront and repair.  In God’s eyes, once sin is forgiven it is forgotten.  However, for us, there are consequences that linger for the decisions that we have made over the years that often remain for a lifetime.  The good thing is that if we are faithful and seek God first, He helps us to fill in the scrapes and even holes while providing the Holy Spirit to gently sand the rough edges.

You see, we are a work in progress.  Ridding ourselves of the old life and embracing the new often takes years before we are smooth and blemish free.  God says in His Word, “…being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6 NKJV)  This verse tells me that growing and developing into the person God created us to be is a process.  Of course as in everything, there will be some that are over-achievers and excel through the basic clean-up with extreme precision and speed.  Then there will be others who will take years to learn just one simple concept that God is teaching them.

This is why we can’t look at others and think, “They are a mess.  If that’s what Christianity is all about, I’m not sure I want to sign up.”  Rather, we need to rejoice that the person they are watching has new hope in life.  They now have a purpose and direction.  Once the Holy Spirit is invited in, the new person will begin to emerge and God will be glorified in what He has been able to accomplish through them.  However, God’s timing is perfect–not ours.  What may take you a month to work through may take someone else a lifetime.  So be patient.  Know that God is in control and be at peace knowing you no longer have to be!  Have a great week!