Thursday, August 30, 2012

Living Lessons: Puddle of Mud - 2012/09/02

Every week I write an article for our local church bulletin called "Living Lessons."   

Jesus the Christ had a marvelous way of conveying deep spiritual truths by using stories and object lessons from the living world around Him.  We can too.

Puddle of Mud:  Have you ever holstered your mudding knife and sanding block so you can go head to head with a pock-marked newly constructed or damaged wall?  Then we’ve joined ranks together in the fight against holey walls with our mudslinging skills!  For a few moments in the early mornings and late evenings this week I’ve been mudding a new bathroom wall and filling in holes all over the house.  Here’s a few of my meditations while smearing, wiping, sanding, smearing, wiping, sanding, smearing, wiping, sanding…

God gives us all a nice smooth piece of wall to work with when we start life, just like the drywall we get from our favorite hardware suppliers.  Yet our wall quickly gets holes, gaps in the joints, and rips from the difficulty of growing up in this world and the mistakes we make during construction and use.  Sometimes we make big mistakes that mar the wall like trying to take a big couch down to the lower level of the house (how many of you remember that excitement a year ago?) or missing the stud with your screw not one but three times.  All of these holes caused by life circumstances and sin are unsightly and nasty reminders of our mistakes.  I long for no more holes.

But the Great Contractor, God, doesn’t desire to leave our walls in this unsightly condition.  So He sent his best carpenter and finishing man, Jesus Christ, to patch things up utilizing the best mud, the Spirit.  Unfortunately it isn’t a quick process to remove all of those holes and indentations in our once-smooth surface.  Jesus takes a little mud like He did with the blind man in John 9 and begins to smear it on.  His mudding knife is a little sharp and scary to some, but as a skilled and experienced tradesman, He smears his healing mud deep into all the right places.  He then takes an abrasive instrument and sands off all the high spots, only to have to repeat the process with the knife and sander several times.  After multiple applications of the perfect mud mixture with the utmost patience, the wall is perfected again.  The holes are no more.

Pulling from His toolbox called “Love”, God is patiently but persistently using different tools such as grace, faith, obedience, and accountability to smooth out the blemishes in my life.  Some of those tools are a little scary and abrasive,  but they are all part of His plan to make us a perfect and complete structure.  Praise the Contractor, God, for persevering in sending His best Carpenter, Jesus, and in using the best medium, the Spirit, to perfect us.  The holes are no more.  Let’s keep it that way. 

James 1:4 “Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”