This week I have been remodeling my kitchen. I am painting my cabinets a lovely brown. "Chocolate pudding" to be precise. This has been a big job. Shawn and I spent three hours Wednesday morning taping off the walls and removing cabinet doors. Then we painted everything with primer. Finally we are putting two coats of paint on the cabinets, to be followed up with new brushed nickel hardware.
I am almost finished painting tonight, and it looks really good. I was applying the tedious second coat of paint to the cabinets when I realized some parallels with my remodeling job and God's remodeling work in my life.
The preparation phase of taping and removing and cleaning doors took the longest time. I had to work hard to scrub years of grease build up off the door, and the junk in my cabinets was exposed for all to see. It seems that God does this in my life more often than I would like to admit. He cleans up sin in my life and lays it all out for others to see so that he can redeem that part of my life.
The primer did not have room for much tint, so it was a much lighter shade of "chocolate pudding." Precisely, it was pink. So I painted every inch of my cabinets with the pink primer to seal the wood and make it possible for the paint to adhere. Last night if you came through my kitchen, you would have shuddered at all the pink primer. When God is changing me, sometimes the journey isn't pretty. In fact it can be downright ugly.
Today I finally got the two coats of "chocolate pudding" applied to the cabinets. I can envision the finished product. I can see that the color matches the walls and floors. It is going to work out well. It is not finished just yet, but it is much improved from where I began. That's how it is in life. I am not perfect, but God gradually changes and improves areas of my life where I am struggling. It is often at the end of a long, painful, sometimes ugly journey that I am able to finally see the beautiful thing that God is doing.
This seemed so clear to me in the kitchen, but has been hard to express in words. Hopefully it makes sense to the rest of you. If not, it wouldn't be the first time.