I sit on hands and knees, a paint scraper in hand. Back and forth I work the paint off of these old boards – laid down in the 1920's.
Three hours of laying down paint remover, waiting and scraping, has turned into a bigger job than I had planned. It was only after a third of it was done that I realized it. It didn't matter how clean the boards were, or whether I put paint or stain on top, we would still be left with the same old boards – boards that have warped with weather, split and splintered deep. I look up from my work and survey the porch, and lay the scraper down.
Sometimes we try to fix things that should just be replaced.
I've done that in my life. Tried to scrape old habits and put paint over scars thinking that if I just worked hard enough, things would be better. It wasn't until I let Him begin a new work – allowing Him to rip out the old and show me His plan, His design that I could stand firm and find rest and joy. I am not going to suggest I still don't try to fix things on my own – unfortunately self-sufficience is a burden that's hard to break. But as I come again and again to the foot of the cross, and lay my burdens down, relying on Him to be sufficient, He creates a new work in me. And slowly I learn that the best way to renewal is to stop trying to force the old, and make way for the new.