“With these old homes, the work never ends.”
My sweet neighbor stood shaking his head on my front lawn. He was making his observation from a privileged place, as he was not the one kneeling in a trench stretching the length of my yard. Our plumbing had stopped working for the billionth time and in a home with two small children, a person cannot survive without a flushing toilet. My husband had shoveled more than his fair share of dirt and replaced part of the pipeline a few months earlier, hoping to fix the problem. Those rose-colored glasses were now as broken as Ralphie’s from “A Christmas Story” as we revisited the ol’ poop tube again.
“You’ll shoot your eye out!” wasn’t as funny as we found ourselves in the trenches again, quite literally covered in stench.
And here was Charlie, the best neighbor ever, reminding us this digging was just part of the process caring for an old home. Well, try a 112 year-old house. (It may have its own VIP status at Lowe’s- I’m still checking into it.) The process of repairing the plumbing was long and exhausting, but the results were worth it. A flushing toilet is priceless, people. But reflecting on the repairs revealed a deep truth:
This house and my heart are kindred spirits, an “Under Construction” sign hanging from the front door at all times.
The creaky boards and leaky pipes cry out for repair, so we give them the attention they need. Not so fast, homeowner. The moment you begin to believe it is all fixed, the hot water heater goes out. You repair the roof, only to discover raccoons living in the attic. There is no rest for the lover of historic homes…
We are in a constant state of disrepair.
I am a DIY-er. I typically don’t call in a carpenter or repair man. My hands (along with an in-depth Google search) are just as capable of repairs as someone I would pay a crazy amount of money. There is also the added satisfaction is saying, “I did THAT all by myself!”
But for the first time ever, we paid someone to put new wood floors in two of our rooms. Our master bedroom had disgusting “white” carpet…
My office floors were giving my whole family splinters every time we walked over the threshold…
I had a visit from a flooring guy, “just for an estimate.” Well, as you can imagine, I got such a great deal on new flooring that I didn’t even blink at the cost to install it. The conversation went like this:
“You mean you will move all my furniture, take away the old, smelly carpet, install the new floors AND I can sit idly by, sipping my sweet tea?
WHERE DO I SIGN?”
I ordered flooring on Tuesday and had spanking-brand-new rooms by 5pm Wednesday! It would have taken me DAYS to accomplish that, and it would have had some serious irregularities. When I trusted the professionals, my problem was fixed faster, the wood placed perfectly, and I had just the amount of flooring I needed. My output was vastly smaller than the men repairing.
We can exhaust ourselves and all our resources trying to keep up with what needs to be done,
or we can call the repair man.
God is an expert on YOU. He knows the timeline you need to grasp a new concept. His plan is exactly what you need, every part working as it should. It is easiest for your heart to heal when you give God room to work in His area of expertise: You.
But YOU must play a part.
You have to call the repair man. You have to invest your money and sometimes your time. It is not the “easy button” you can push and walk into total transformation. You must repent of the way you have been doing things. You have to surrender that part of your heart and give God TOTAL control to remodel. He wants to rebuild you from the ground up. Don’t cut corners for quicker results that aren’t as long lasting.
If you are getting splinters in your feet, why not call a professional?
One day you will open the door to your shiny new heart and agree that it was all worth it.