©Joy Dunlap https://joydunlap.com
Decayed. Cracked. Damaged.
The gouges ran deep inside.
Several boards on our deck showed signs of storms, weight, and daily wear, so we decided to replace the ones that were severely messed up.
After the craftsman replaced the old boards with new ones and painted them, their freshness exposed the discolor and weathering of the rest of the deck. Dirt, ridges and buildup revealed the older sections as ugly and unclean compared to what had been replaced.
The carpenter recommended a power wash to cleanse the grime off the old boards, followed by a fresh coat of paint for the entire surface.
Try as we might, it’s not enough for us to apply fresh paint on poor choices we’ve made in our lives, to try to pull out sins on our own, or to attempt to fill the holes in our hearts.
A power wash – a wash by the blood of Jesus to cleanse us – provides what we truly need. God’s restoration replaces the deteriorating and dangerous “boards” of our lives with a new life found through the Cross of Christ.
The sacrifice Christ chose to make on the cross to cover our sins changes us when we choose to follow Him.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, that person is a new creation. The old has gone, the new is here!
All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 2 Corinthians 5:17-19 NIV
As I watched the carpenter pull out the rusty nails in the rotted wood, I imagined Jesus pulling out the corroded nails that hold our brokenness, our sins, our guilt in place.
As the craftsman hammered the nails into new boards strong enough to keep our steps safe, I envisioned the nails driven into the hands of Jesus as his open arms stretched out on the cross in sacrificial love.
The nails He bore so we could be free.
Free from the burden of sin and the shame we bear.
Free from that which was rotted inside us, weakening us.
Free from the aloneness, the heartache, the hurt.
The nails He bore to transform our lives anew, whole and secure.
Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” John 20:27-29 NIV
Dangers of the world still exist.
After the carpenter repaired the deck, we discovered some rust-covered, bent nails hidden in the grass and atop the new surface, waiting to pierce and cause us pain. We got rid of those dangerous spikes as soon as we spotted them.
Repair work continues.
Even the strongest, best-built, real wood decks need to be maintained.
Time goes by.
Storms hit. Rot sneaks in. Stress weakens.
Bees bore holes. Squirrels gnaw. Pests penetrate the surface.
The need to refresh, repair and repaint is ongoing.
God has been in the business of heart – and life – repair and restoration since the beginning. When we call on Him, he can fix what is damaged in the depths of our souls.
The foundation of love, trust and commitment is the core, but it is in the daily living and the daily growing that we deepen and strengthen our connection with Christ.
The closer we are to Him, the more our lives reflect His love and radiate the joy we have because of Him.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Galatians 5:22-25 NIV
- What items at your home need a refresh or repair?
- Which aspects of your life in Christ show deterioration or decay?
- What areas are you willing to let the Master Carpenter work to repair and refresh in you this month?
For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything. Hebrews 3:4 NIV
Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10:19-24 NIV
Life is Better When It’s Full – Joy-full, Thank-full, Purpose-full and Friend-full! ™