There I stood in the middle of my half-finished half bath; sweaty, covered in dust and eyes brimming with tears. Nine years I have waited to remodel my powder room and now I wish I never started. My contractor did everything but paint. Some of the walls needed repair and all I had to do was sand and paint. Being the strong independent woman I am and because it is a 20 square foot room, I decided to take on the challenge solo. How hard could it be? Ha! I started with one patched area and it seemed the more I tried to smooth out the roughness and ridges the worse it got. First I used the sanding block – then a coarser grit sandpaper but that didn’t work either. Finally, I brought out the big guns – the hand sander! If I try harder it will work right? Unfortunately, the harder I tried the worse it got! All my efforts to smooth away the imperfections were not enough. I was not the expert in removing those flaws.
Our lives are like that too. We are human, we sin and we try to fix things ourselves but no matter how much we sand away at the roughness in our lives, we are never able to get it perfect. Maybe we try to be good people: kind, giving, respectful. Isn’t that enough? We are nice people! Well, except the time that jerk cut us off or when a Facebook “friend” posted something that we just had to set them straight on. It was our responsibility to let them know they were in the wrong. Wasn’t it? We are still good people, shouldn’t that be enough? Why do we need a Savior? The problem is being good or what we perceive to be good will never be enough to someday be in the presence of God. We may not be able to achieve perfection, but there is one that is and he took on the full burden of our sins and covered that cost for us.
For we have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. Romans 3:23-24
The walls in my bathroom I can fix with the help of Google and some joint compound. Smoothing over the imperfections in the hope of achieving a blemish free surface. I did the best I could but flawless walls didn’t quite happen. Even after many coats of primer and paint some of the defects still bled through to the surface. When it comes to forgiving the sin in my life, I am not so good at that either. Whether it is replaying a hurtful conversation that I should have handled better or harboring resentment toward someone, there are times that I look into the blackness in my heart and hope that no one finds out that maybe I am not such a nice person. I try and I fail on a daily basis, but I am able to pour out my heart to Jesus and be forgiven.
How far has the LORD taken our sins from us? Farther than the distance from east to west. Psalm 103:12
Does being a follower of Jesus mean that I don’t need to try and be a good person since I can ask for forgiveness? NO! If I hurt someone, I need to reach out in love and hopefully they will extend grace and forgiveness to me. The goal is to imitate the character of Jesus: compassion, love, forgiveness, self-control, humility, patience. Unfortunately, I often fall short of these qualities. Jesus is the expert in remodeling our hearts and lives which is a good thing because I still need a lot of work done!
P.S. My bathroom is finally finished and it is beautiful despite its flaws, hmm something to think about…