“For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.” – 2 Corinthians 5:1 (NIV)
I got married in August of last year and moved to a house about a half hour away from where I lived. It was not my first choice, since it was so far out, but also because I knew this house was old and needed a lot work. I judged it because of its imperfections much like a person looks in the mirror and judges their flaws.
It wasn’t until I dared to stop looking and dwelling on the negative aspects of things, and tried to take on a different perspective, that I saw the bigger picture. A blessing in disguise so to speak. I started reading Home and Garden, and House Beautiful magazines, and saw transformations that people had done. I was in awe. I now have something to look forward to, as I fix one thing at a time, I gain about a thousand victories. “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” my husband will often say. Just think if everything we ever got in life was new and without problems…. it’s a beautiful thought; however, we would miss out on the joys of being able to re-create, and see miracles.
Jesus is constantly working on us as well. Our Christian walk is exactly that – a walk. We may not see the bigger picture right now, but we will one day. “Count your trials as blessings.” (James 1:2) We would never know victory without some struggle to obtain it.
We are born into a world of sin and multitude of imperfections, problems, and bad situations. They inevitably creep into our lives. But, it’s what we do with them that makes a world of difference. What do you do when the world throws you a lemon?
“My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?” – John 14:2 (NIV)
Jesus prepared a better place for us, so we know that this is not forever. But we can learn to have joy and find blessings in everyday life by reading his word and being positive. I realized after I had moved in, that I really had all of my prayers answered. I specifically asked for a place with three rooms, two bathrooms, a yard for the dogs, maybe even a pool? It’s a far drive to get here, but when I get here, I call it home. Maybe not forever, but for now it’s a far cry from where I was. I simply had to open my mind and trust God, that He would lead me exactly where I was meant to go. Usually we only struggle because we are constantly fighting against God instead of trusting Him to provide and lead.
We renewed the insurance on the house this year amongst other things, and realized that the house was worth more burned down. It was a sad fact, nevertheless, I continue to see the possibilities of what could be, and keep faith that God is in control.
“Problems are only opportunities in work clothes.” – Henry J. Kaiser
Jesus sees past our flaws and imperfections, into what could be. An artist takes an old blank canvas, or something old and turns it into a masterpiece. Not without mistakes along the way, but consistently perfecting it until the day He is finished. He refines us like gold and silver. (Malachi 3:3)
“Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” – Hebrews 12:2
We are the ones that have limited vision. So, I continue to work on this old house, room by room. As I write this I see imperfections that I have overlooked, yet I leave them as a reminder to myself of what was, what is, and what could be. Sometimes there is beauty in imperfections, it leaves behind a mark of character, and growth.
“Out with the old and in with the new,” is a common phrase used in New Years Resolutions. I dare you to take on a project – find something old, and make it new, and while you do it, give praise to God for taking your life, a life destined to sin and destruction, and making it something new and beautiful – Beauty for Ashes.
I have a bad habit of throwing things out when they become old because it just seems like a lot of work to keep. Not that it’s a bad thing to simplify your home and throw things out, but sometimes things are worth keeping. I now learn to either give some things away to someone in need, or repurpose them for the greater good. Aren’t you glad God didn’t toss you out because of your sin and imperfections? He had a different plan, that plan was Jesus. (John 3:16)
Happy New Year!