Last year, I decided to sand and re-varnish the floorboards in our living room, hallway and dining room. This major refurbishment task was well overdue – delayed repeatedly due to the demands of parenthood and a pathological fear of a DIY disaster.
The floorboards had been coated in layer upon layer of thick, dark mahogany varnish. As I ran the floor sander over the boards, amongst the noise and the dust, the layers of varnish were stripped off. I was worried about what had been buried underneath – our house is nearly 200 years old and full of unwanted surprises. What horrors would be revealed?
Once I’d stripped off the last layer of varnish, once the dust had settled, what was left was an old but beautiful pine floor. Some of the boards had split or frayed; some were heavily knotted; some had old sultanas and stickers and bits of Lego stuck in the cracks. But what we were left with was clear and full of character.
As I looked at this new, bare, slightly damaged floor, I considered how my life had been in the past – how I’d carried on with a veneer of “togetherness”; how easily I’d masked my flaws and failures. In Psalm 139, one of many poems in the Bible, King David writes “Oh Lord, you have examined my heart and You know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up; You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.”
God could see what I looked like beneath my veneer; God could see the beauty and the flaws; God could see the parts of my life that needed ripping out, mending and replacing. And because God is the perfect architect and the perfect restorer, God knew that the only way I could live my life to my full potential was through Him.
It’s easier now than it’s ever been to live a life where mistakes and flaws are glossed over. As a regular user of Facebook, I know how easy it is to paint an idyllic picture of family life, to present the highlights and mask the mistakes. But God wants you just as you are. There’s no veneer that He doesn’t see through; His plan for your life is perfect.
If you are tired of life under layers of thick, dark mahogany varnish, if you want God to properly restore you, seek Him today and find others (in a local church) who are being restored by Him.
The Gateway Church, Kings Lynn