This past week I got the chance sand the floors of our new house with my husband. All day long, I held the cord of the push sander for him as we moved back and forth across those rough floors. They were swollen and shredded from months of not having a roof over top of them and being exposed to the rain, wind and snow. What a disaster they were! Lucky for us, the sander smoothed the floors down so well after going over them a few times. But boy was it uncomfortable with all that sawdust flying everywhere! The edges of the floor around the walls, however, took a little more time. Eric had to hand sand all of them, and it took quite a bit of time and effort. But the end result was fantastic, it was like the floors were good as new, completely smooth and clean. All of that hard work and effort was worth it.
Just like the wood floors, the same thing is going on in my heart tonight. There have been times over the past few months when I have left my heart uncovered, exposed to the sin all around me and I have let it seep in and swell my soul with things that shouldn’t be there: perfectionism, bitterness, fear, insecurity and a lack of patience. Talk about rough and ugly. But over these months God has slowly been sanding down the walls of my heart. Sometimes it has been painful, even uncomfortable. But at the end of the day, I can see where He is restoring and renewing those parts of my heart that are worn and weary. Worn from the stresses of my everyday life and weary from trying to do it on my own.
Why do I always try and do it on my own?
I absolutely love 2 Corinthians 4:7. It says, “But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not us.” This treasure that the Apostle Paul was speaking of is the Gospel; the glorious grace that the Lord freely gives to us if we so choose it. And the power of the gospel is transforming. It is consuming and it is good. In fact, it is the only good thing in any of us. And that goodness is powerful enough to strip away those things that shouldn’t be in my heart, even the parts that are so hard to reach. The parts that sometimes I don’t even think that God could, or would even want to take the time to heal and restore. The parts that make me cringe with embarrassment. Those are usually the parts that I am the most ashamed of, am I right?
Tonight I want to ask you to examine your heart. I mean really examine it. Look in all the nooks and crannies and see what’s there. I’m asking this because after really looking at my own heart these past few months, I have found things that have been so hard to look at. But by the power of prayer, extremely supportive friends and family and the grace of God, my heart has been softened and changed in so many ways for the good. Not for my good, but for His good. And His glory has been revealed in the stripping away of myself and replacing it with all of that wonderful goodness He has to offer.