The world is messy. Sometimes I look around and it seems like everything is broken. I guess that’s true… but it’s really kind of a frustrating world to live in. Just the other day, Logan and I were talking about some discrepancies in, let’s call it “the system.” How is it that no matter what we do to try and fix the mess, as we remove each layer of problems, we take a deep breath and uncover yet another problem underneath? When I think deeply about a subject in our world, I find myself peeling back layer upon layer of goofy wallpaper that makes true change seem like an unreasonable task to undertake. Forget about removing wallpaper, just take the whole wall down and rebuild it.
Thinking about this topic on a spiritual level, I have to remember that God had better plans for us. In the first stage, he built for us clean, sturdy walls in our “house” (aka world). Nothing was necessary to make the walls inside that house any better. In fact, it was perfect just the way it was. After some time though, we decided we were bored with clean and sturdy walls. So, we decided to redecorate. We put up a really cute and trendy wallpaper print. It was difficult. It was messy, but by golly, we got it up there. And it looked pretty swanky, too.
Before we knew it, that fashionable wallpaper got to be out of style. We really thought that going back to the original clean sturdy walls would be a nice change, but instead of taking down the wallpaper, we decided to just paint over it. Have you ever done that, or seen it done? From a distance, it works pretty well. But upon closer inspection, the texture of the wallpaper is visible underneath. Messy. And kinda ugly too.
Well, we go along in this fashion over and over and over again, and as time has passed, we just keep putting up new layers of wallpaper and paint. We put nails in the walls, hang things on the walls, decide we don’t like it and take it down, put it up again, patch that hole here, touch up some there… and by the time we realize what’s happened to our clean and sturdy walls, it’s clear that the walls are no longer clean and sturdy. We botched them up, and their integrity is compromised. Life, as we know it, is officially in stage two: broken. We aren’t happy with our home’s condition, but we know as we look at it, we can’t really do anything about it by ourselves. We try, but it just makes it look worse.
Stage three offers hope. Since we aren’t professional wall fixers or builders, we really need to get someone in here who can fix our nasty walls. Enter Jesus. He comes in not for a little touch-up work, but he wants complete renovation. We might think a little redecorating is required, but Jesus wants a complete remodel. He’s in the business of tearing down walls and building an entirely new structure. Lucky for us, Jesus came to this broken world and put his whole life into the business of rebuilding walls. He actually died doing this work for us, so we wouldn’t have to. Now, all we have to do is say, “Hey Jesus, I see a genuine difference in the houses [lives] of others that I desperately want in my own home [life]. Will you come overhaul my walls [heart], please? I can’t do it on my own, I need you.”
Thank God for stage three: the Gospel! To put it literally, God made us perfect and our world perfect too. We chose to take matters into our own hands because we thought perfection looked a little different than what God created it to be. But we were wrong, and now everything we touch gets messed up. But because of Jesus dying on the cross, we have a way to restore our hearts to perfect again.
All we have to do is ask. It’s beautiful!