I've been painting today. Whitewashing doors actually; makes me think of Tom Sawyer.
The goal was to paint the bathroom and kitchen and then my bride reminded me I wasn't done painting all the doors in the house; at least not the final coat.
When we bought our house the doors were circa 1981, super dark brown...needless to say well overdue for an update.
The thing is, after putting the first coat on, it was pretty clear it would need a second coat. I went from door to door, easily circling around and putting on another layer, no big deal. Well after a couple hours of this, it gets old. So I stopped; cleaned up and put away the brushes. You know what? The doors looked so much better, it completely changed the feel of the house; Bridget was thrilled.
Jesus talks about standing at the door of our heart and knocking, seeking to be a part of our life. But the previous verses confront complacency.
Eugene Peterson put it this way when he paraphrased scripture in The Message...
15-17"I know you inside and out, and find little to my liking. You're not cold, you're not hot—far better to be either cold or hot! You're stale. You're stagnant. You make me want to vomit. You brag, 'I'm rich, I've got it made, I need nothing from anyone,' oblivious that in fact you're a pitiful, blind beggar, threadbare and homeless.
18"Here's what I want you to do: Buy your gold from me, gold that's been through the refiner's fire. Then you'll be rich. Buy your clothes from me, clothes designed in Heaven. You've gone around half-naked long enough. And buy medicine for your eyes from me so you can see, really see.
19"The people I love, I call to account—prod and correct and guide so that they'll live at their best. Up on your feet, then! About face! Run after God!
20-21"Look at me. I stand at the door. I knock. If you hear me call and open the door, I'll come right in and sit down to supper with you. Conquerors will sit alongside me at the head table, just as I, having conquered, took the place of honor at the side of my Father. That's my gift to the conquerors!
22"Are your ears awake? Listen. Listen to the Wind Words, the Spirit blowing through the churches."
You know what, it's easy to approach our lives like I did with the doors.
"It's so much better than it was." "Nobody will really notice."
The doors look great from a distance, but if you get close, the old brown is showing through in places, and until I started putting on the final coat did it become obvious how much they needed it; the process wasn't done yet.
It's the same way with our lives. God's redeeming work is a never ending process. Sanctification, that process of our lives being cleaned out by the Holy Spirit should constantly be happening. When it is, it's easy to see how far we've come, and how much we need God's grace and salvation each day.
Let us guard our hearts from being satisfied with where we came from and focus on where the Holy Spirit desires to take us...on an incredible journey.
Well, back to work...I've got another coat left to paint.