I hope everyone has had an excellent start to Fall. I like this time of year when the weather cools down, and it’s still warm but not so blazing hot. My wife likes it too because Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew is back on the menu at Starbucks. Last year, I thought she would turn into a pumpkin because of how many of those things she bought. Starbucks probably could have survived just on her efforts alone. So, before we get into this, I need to get some coffee.
Labor Day weekend, I decided to do a project in my house. It was one the wife and I thought of when we bought our home. The subdivision was new, and the house was still in the building stage when we purchased it. The house was framed, but the drywall hadn’t been hung yet. We visited the house often, and we took pictures of every wall, floor, and ceiling for future reference. We noticed a small space in the upstairs hall that would make an excellent little storage closet. The builder wasn’t making it into a closest, and if we wanted them to, we would have to fork out more money. We had already spent quite a bit on upgrades, so we decided not to ask. It would just have to stay dead space there.
Well, sixteen years later, I decided to remove the drywall and make that storage closet. Like most projects I start, it takes me longer to complete than I think it will. My wife used to ask me how long it will take, and I would give her an estimate. Inevitably, it would take twice as long, and she doesn’t ask anymore. If she does, I chuckle, and she says, “Oh, that’s right, don’t ask because it will take you twice as long as you told me.” You got it!
Considering how small the closet would be, I thought I could get it done within the three days off from work. I should have known it would take the whole three days and the following weekend. On the first day of my project, I cut the drywall, and after removing it, I found that the dead space wasn’t empty. The builders decided to use that space as their garbage can. Multiple pieces of drywall filled the space. Yep, they just put their scraps in there, drywalled over it, and called it good instead of disposing of it as they should have. Then sixteen years later, the knucklehead owner decides to do a little project and discovers their buried sins.
It wasn’t a huge amount, but it wasn’t a small amount either. As I was removing the scraps, I thought of the scripture, Numbers 32:23, that says in part, ‘be careful; your sins will find you out.’ This was a visual example of that spiritual principle. You can try to hide your sins, build walls around them, and make it look like there’s nothing there to see. Only years later, something happens, and those walls get torn down, and those sins are exposed.
As I contemplated this, I also thought about how it may not be sins hidden away. It could be a past hurt or painful experience. It gets dealt with by building walls up around it, hiding it deep within, and trying to forget about it. But inside its a dead space.
No matter if its sins or hurts that are hidden, God can help you, but it takes surrendering to Him. You are giving up your right to yourself, your claim to yourself. He wants to renovate that dead space and turn it into something useful.
Just like when I start a project, and it takes longer than I think it will, God creates a renovation project with you. It may take longer than you think it will. When you think about it, we’re all renovation projects. We all have our issues that need His grace and mercy if we’re ever going to be who He wants us to be. We have to surrender to Him and let Him have His way with us.
So, that’s the story about my renovation project. Now, I’d like to recommend a book I recently read.
I’ve always enjoyed Norman Rockwell’s paintings of small-town America. That’s why I liked Jan Karon’s book, At Home in Mitford. It made me think of a Norman Rockwell small-town America painting the whole time I was reading it.
At Home in Mitford has a rich and diverse collection of characters. It has a little bit of everything in it: romance, boyhood adventure, small-town American life, tragedy, humor, and impromptu foster parenting. I kept thinking while I was reading that if someone took Norman Rockwell’s small-town American paintings and turned them into a book, this would be that book. Jan Karon has a whole series of Mitford books I plan on working my way through.
Have you read Jan Karon’s books?
Where do you like to talk about books online?
My coffee has almost run out, so I’ll wrap this up with one last thing. I want to share some information about an organization called Street Hope TN, https://streethopetn.org Street Hope is currently building a safe home for girls ages 12 to 17 who have survived domestic sex trafficking. One of the pastors from our church, along with his wife, recently toured the home. They couldn’t say enough good things about the things that Street House was doing. Street House TN has taken the time and care to think of everything these teen girls will need. Please take a look at their mission statement below. This is truly a fantastic organization.
Our mission is to end child sex slavery.
We are a nonprofit organization on a mission to eliminate the sexual exploitation and trafficking of children in Tennessee and provide safe environments to foster hope and healing through Jesus Christ.
Stay safe, everyone, and enjoy the last three months of this crazy year.
As always, don’t forget the coffee.