Spiritual Growth

A Painted Door

I painted a door today. One door. Yes, that’s about all I accomplished in 6 to 8 hours – painting one, single door. I did manage to sneak in a few loads of laundry in between coats, but otherwise, I babysat a door. I was quickly reminded why I don’t care for painting; it takes too dog-gone long! With all the prep work, meticulous taping, drying time between coats, and then the dreaded pulling off the tape – man, I hate that part. I never seem to get it quite right! I have a friend who absolutely loves to paint and she’s really great at it. Good for her. I’m a lousy painter. And quite frankly, if I had a choice, I wouldn’t ever do it. Never. Where is my friend when I need her?

I tried to focus my mind on the Lord and meditate on scripture while I painted (hoping it would help my “I-don’t-want-to-do-this” attitude). I have some heavy things on my heart these days and I tried to pray and lift those things and people to the capable hands of God to seek His wisdom and
guidance. He reminded me while I was taping, “He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 1:6) Just as I have to be patient during the process of painting, I must be patient as God works out the details surrounding those people and events in my life. And through that process, He is refining me more into His image as I learn to wait and watch Him work things according to His plan and purpose. (Romans 8:28) To get the best result, this process cannot be rushed. Just as the details of my life cannot be rushed if they are to be played out according to God’s perfect design.

There were maTaped Doorny moments throughout the day that I didn’t want to do what it took to paint this door. Again, the prep work tested me. Grrrr…. The door has 15 small window panes – 15!!! It took me almost an hour just to tape, but I learned some valuable lessons before I got to the end. I learned if I would use a pair of scissors and cut the tape straight across instead of tearing the ends by hand, I could cover the corners of the glass more easily and have less frustration with the “pointy” uneven ends that seem to do nothing but get in the way of my paint brush. I thought of this scripture, “All the paths of the Lord are lovingkindness and truth to those who keep His covenant and His testimonies.” (Psalm 25:10) I need to understand there is a better pathway to follow than my own. I think I know what’s best for me, but God has a divine plan. His Word and guidance are the right tools I need to accomplish the very best, not only in this life, but the life to come. My “pointy” ends may seem good to me, but the Lord’s straight cut path is much better. Taking shortcuts to get to the end will not accomplish the best outcome. I need to remember this not only for me, but for those I’m praying for as well. I don’t need to try and “fix” something God has under control.  This life is preparation for the life still yet to come.

Three coats and 6 hours later it’s time for the moment of truth. Pull. Off. The. Tape.  How’d I do? Well… the paint bled through in a couple places and it pulled up with the tape in a few others. I have some minor touch ups to do, but all in all, I did alright — looks good. My husband will be relieved when he gets home to know he can mark this one off of his to-do list. I’m glad I could help.

I painted a door todaCompleted doory, but that’s not all that was accomplished. God and I have had some good, quiet teaching moments in the past few hours.  I know from the time of my birth to the time of my last breath, God is meticulously “painting” me into His own image; transforming me and using me as a vessel unto His honor. Many of the trials, hurts, pains, and joys I experience are mere tools in the hands of the Master Painter as He fashions me into one covered in the righteousness of Himself – fit for the Kingdom. I’m humbled by His patience with me and am forever grateful that He chooses no shortcuts when it comes to circumstances in my life or in the life of those I love. I’m also encouraged to know that what He began in me, He is faithful to complete – and unlike my door, in the end when the protective tape is removed, no touch-ups will be needed. Perfection at its finest will be accomplished.

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