Peeling Back The Layers
My dad is a very handy guy to have around. When I was younger he taught me almost everything I know about cars and houses. I’ve also heard on occasion that I’m also a handy guy to have around, but one thing I am not handy with is painting or restoring furniture of any kind. In fact I have reluctantly been part of a few furniture restoration projects in the past. Each one seemed to leave me less than satisfied with the end result. Maybe it was because in the past on at least one item I wanted to make quick work of the project and I just tried to paint over the existing finished object. Another time I spent countless hours sanding the furniture but never really getting all of the old layers of paint or stain off. Time after time I was left frustrated having spent precious time working on something that didn’t live up to what I had envisioned the final result would be.
Recently, we purchased a small kid’s table at a garage sale. It was Kate’s idea that we refinish it and make a game table out of it. All those old feelings came rushing back about how much work it will take to peel back all the layers of old paint and finish. Since it was just supposed to be a fun project, she and the kids decided to just paint over the top of the existing finish. It got me to thinking. How often do we just want to paint over the top of our existing lives in an effort to achieve transformation? We think that by just putting on a coat of paint everything will be different, as if somehow that “paint” will seep into our heart and change everything forever from the outside-in. We think that a different color or design on the surface will transform us and give us peace to the turmoil that resides on our insides.
True transformation takes place in the heart but it doesn’t start there. First we have to be made aware that we might be blind or unwilling to see to all the layer upon layers we have heaped upon ourselves. We have to cut through those layers in our lives and see ourselves as Christ sees us. Reading the bible can help with that because it says in Hebrews 4:12-13,
“12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”
For many, it seems to them that it is a lot easier to just put another coat of “paint” on the surface than to search deeper for something that may have been covered up for years or longer, much like my former restoration projects. If we want to get to the heart of the matter we must begin by peeling back the layers to see what is really in there. Maybe others fear what they may find and give up peeling back the layers, but that is not where it ends that is the beginning of healing in a person, a marriage, or any relationship torn apart. It is also critical that we continue the work of heart transformation and complete the work leaving no layers untouched. We have to lean on Christ for that strength to face the difficult things in life as it says in Philippians 4:13,
” I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”
Once we choose to see who we really are by cutting away the layers of our selfishness with the sword of truth we can begin the process of repentance and healing. In future segments we will explore the process of making positive life changes and how you can fulfill the purpose that God has given you.
Scriptures for Meditation
“12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” Hebrews 4:12-13
” I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13