You ever wonder what would posses any rational thinking person to take on a renovation project. You know, like refurbishing an old antique car or a historical house. Stuff like that. Those types of projects always seem fun and exciting at first but once the project is underway, what seemed fun and exciting in the beginning often turn into nightmares.
I remember my first year of marriage, which would be a few years back. Let's just say I was green and still wet behind the ears. In those days my wife and I lived in a one bedroom apt and of all things I decided that I wanted to refurbish an old cabinet that we pulled out of the apartment complex’s garbage container.
I guess I should be honest here, after all this is a pastor’s blog; it was me (William Harris) who pulled that cabinet out of the garbage. Needless to say I had no idea what I was getting into but I thought to myself it couldn’t be that hard to refinish this little old cabinet. Boy let me tell you, I could not have been more wrong. After spending money we didn’t have and investing several weeks, I finally conceded to the old cabinet. It didn’t quite look like what I had envisioned in my head but at least it looked better than it did when I started and to be honest, I was genuinely pleased with the finished product.
I learned some valuable lessons whenever I took on this refurbishing project and I think they’re worth repeating here. Possibly I could teach you and thing or two if you ever decide to try your hand at refurbishing old furniture.
First thing I learned is that Transformation does not happen over night. What I thought would take a day or two actually took several weeks. The same could be said for one who is beginning their new walk in Christ. The old man is not going to be renewed or changed overnight. So be patient and consistent the old man and those old habits will essentially fade away. I need to put some scripture with this truth so here goes Rom12: 2 “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” The transformation of that old man comes as a renovation of ones thinking occurs and this type of refurbishing project requires one essential tool. Yep, you guessed it. The word of God.
Second thing I learned is that Patience is a must whenever you’re refurbishing furniture or anything else for that matter. If you move to fast, inevitably you will forget something. Whenever I was refurbishing that cabinet I remember having to start over again and again because I acted before thinking things through. That is a lot like growing in your faith. If you act without thinking you are going to say what you shouldn’t and do what you thought you wouldn’t. Because this is true, we all must agree that growing up spiritually simply can prove to be a painful occupation. Again, as always, we need to put some scripture with that so that we can pull this truth out of your head into your heart. Check this passage out please [2Pe 1:5-10 “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. 8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make [you that ye shall] neither [be] barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. 10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall” I love the last part of that verse; if you do these things, ye shall never fall. How reassuring is that? Lesson learned. Keep at it. Don’t stop and spiritual maturity will come.
Finally Hope became the fuel that kept me focused. I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to quit, but the hope I had of seeing that beautiful cabinent in my living room kept me going. I know what you’re thinking and you’re right, I have the perfect verse that will help us get this truth into our hearts. Check it out. [Romans 8:24-25 “For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? 25 But if we hope for that we see not, [then] do we with patience wait for [it].” Did you catch that? Paul is saying that hope is not hope if you have what you’re hoping for in your hands. But if you hope for something that you don’t quite have in your grasp then with patience, you pursue that thing with endurance. This is what it was like for me as I refurbished that old cabinent. I could see in my minds eye what the finished project was going to look like. The same could be said for me as a follower of Jesus. There is a hope in me that sees what God wants to produce in me and because I can see it, then with patience I pursue it and because I am pursuing what I am hoping for I continue to grow stronger and stronger in my faith.
Ok, I could continue to write about other things I learned but I think what I have mentioned here are enough to get you moving in the right direction. Let’s Go.