Last week I started remodeling our bathroom. Under the spell of yet another “DIY Delusionism” I optimistically thought I could be done by Wednesday.
One week later, I am still wearing my painting pants.
The bathroom remodel has drug on for a few reasons but one of the main ones is how long it took to tape off the bathroom.
“I am NEVER, EVER, painting another cabinet again!” I said …after my husband astutely pointed out after my triumphant declaration that I was “done with the cabinets” that I still had to paint (3 coats) and seal (3 coats) the back sides of the cabinet doors.
I collapsed on our bed in the fetal position and cried a few self righteous tears for all the pain and suffering I had endured to turn 90’s orange oak into hip, glossy white. Not only did it take 6 coats to complete the transformation but on the last coat of sealant my brush had begun to shed these tiny black hairs, which instantly crystallized into the sealant.
Tweezers, God’s gift to my eyebrows (let’s hope every 8th grade picture before I found tweezers has been burned) and now the savior of my cabinet dilemma. I painstakingly picked every miniscule dark hair from the cabinets hardening surface with my tweezers.
Somewhere between the tweezers , the painters tape and this really awesome mask I wore….
God showed up…no not in human form…the paint fumes weren’t that bad.
But He showed up as I removed the tape.
Taping is my least favorite part of painting.
It takes a long time, especially in a bathroom, where there are all sorts of corners and cabinets to cover.
But without tape I am nothing.
I have tried to do the detail work without tape before, and I ended up having to scrape paint streaks off baseboards.
I go through a whole day of prepping: filling holes in the wall, cleaning cabinets and that mildew in the window sill above the shower you are always telling yourself you are going to clean but never do, and finish taping off every corner – then I get to go crazy!
I take the roller making zig zag patterns and writing my name on the wall.
A sweet moment of spontaneous artisan zeal.
As I ripped off the tape to reveal my clean edges, I thought about the whole day off prepping behind me, so that in only 2 hours I could complete my goal: painting the walls.
Without the painstaking care I had taken to tape, clean and patch, I may have finished painting the walls, but I would have known I took the lazy way, and everyone else would have known too.
It reminded me of my journey with the Lord.
There are moments where He feels so close, so present. Where we see His power move in unexpected and miraculous ways. Where a breakthrough comes that has been believed and longed for, maybe for years, maybe for a lifetime.
But there are more moments where my walk with Jesus feels like taping.
I get up and I read the Bible, thinking “am I really going to get anything out of this today?” I experience trial, setbacks and pain in my own life and in the lives of those dear to me. I pray sometimes with great faith, and sometimes only as a sheer act of my will. I crank up the worship tunes and feebly sing along.
There are days where I don’t experience the presence of God, days where I ask for an answer and I don’t get one (or I don’t get the one I want).
Yet in the those seemingly tedious moments I am preparing for something greater: eternity, greater spiritual authority, intimacy with Jesus and to see heaven come to earth.
I say: God I can’t do it anymore! He says: “My grace is sufficient for you. For my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:19)
The tape rips I place it across the baseboard, preparing for a paint stroke to come.
I say: Lord, why would you allow this pain to happen, why can’t you deliver me with one word? He says:
The tape rips, I carefully cover the line between window and window sill, preparing for a paint stroke to come.
I say: Lord what good can come from this trial? He says: Rejoice in your sufferings, suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope. (Romans 5:3)
The tape rips I painstakingly maneuver around the edges of a mirror, preparing for a paint stroke to come.
The tape rips: I see white against a fresh warm gray. I see near perfection, I see a new beginning, I see beauty I have prepared for.
The walls are ready for an artist’s play…
The tape rips: I hear the words…
Do not ever give up or think your life is insignificant, especially the parts that feel of least importance.
He isn’t into your performance: But He is looking for your humility
He’s not obsessed with perfection: But He wants your faithfulness.
He’s not looking for a formula: He’s looking for a relationship – with you.
So if you find yourself today: doing dishes, changing diapers, working two jobs, and going to class when everyone is sleeping in.
When you forgive without their apology, bless instead of curse, forget your own pain and care for someone’s sorrow.
When you pray through the night, open your Bible and cling to the truth of His word all the while whispering “God please help me.”
Be encouraged: the victory is coming, the breakthrough will be released…
but you must keep taping.
If you don’t keep taping you won’t be ready for the victory.
If you harbor unforgiveness and are filled with pride – yet pray to find your spouse – you won’t be ready for the two most important phrases in any marriage, “I’m sorry” and “I forgive you”
If you aren’t faithful to complete the tasks at your current job how can you be ready to handle the additional responsibility a promotion brings?
If you complain and whine about how hard and boring school is, and you can’t wait to be finally in “real world” – you will find something else to complain about…like your boss, or your alarm clock, or your entry level pay.
If you beg God for favor and answers, yet ignore Him after you receive what you want, you’re not in a love relationship with the Most High God.
So keep taping,
when no one notices, everyone has put their tape away and you are accused of being a blue tape fanatic.
Just keep taping.
What about you? Is there an area of your life you need to continue to be faithful in? Have you seen the reward of diligence in the smaller areas of life?
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