Wednesday, October 24, 2018

The Rhythm of Transformation: the Art of Waiting

"Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful."
Hebrews 10:23

 It stood up to infant artwork, toddler hand prints, foot scrapes, furniture nicks and vacuum mishaps. Ready and armed with a scraper in one hand and half and half (not the cream but the potent vinegar and water mixture that promises to melt the toughest glue) in the other hand I felt invincible and the rhythm of stripping wallpaper began.

Spritz, spritz, scrape, peel. Spritz, spritz, scrape, peel.

It wasn't quite the waltz I imagined.
Instead of long, graceful lengths of wallpaper falling effortlessly off the walls and dancing my way down the hallway with ease, only minute slivers gave way with great effort and force and after day one, only two small walls on one side of the hallway stood bare. Exhausted, I left the dance floor and submerged myself into a hot bath hanging onto hope for more success in day two.

Spritz, spritz, scrape, peel. Spritz, spritz, scrape, peel.

The rhythm of day two felt more like a waltz. Not quite the longest strides but better rhythm and more progress than the day before. My patience grew as piece by piece the layers of wallpaper crumpled to the floor. Only one more tiny corner and a stubborn stuck-on border at the ceiling remained for day three.

Spritz, spritz, wait. Scrape, peel. Spritz, spritz, wait. Scrape, peel.

Oh the magic of waiting! Patiently waiting for the potent liquid to soak in and do it's job--melt the glue. Wanting the end result so badly, I'd overlooked the most important step--waiting. It only took an extra minute or two and voila! The rhythm of the dance picked up and the paper slid off the walls with graceful, long strides. And soon, every wall stood bare before me full of hope and the potential for beauty.

Isn't it like that with us sometimes? God plants a dream inside of us or gives us a glimpse of a vision and we want the end result right away. We forget that sometimes there's layers of old habits and hurts God desires to melt away, scrape off and lift before our transformation begins and we see our potential for beauty underneath.

Transformation is exhausting, but there is hope. 

Paul reminds us, "And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns."
(Philippians 1:6)

Day by day, little by little if we wait on the Lord, soak up His presence and our many layers melt away - old habits, poor choices, heart wounds - until we stand bare and vulnerable. But that's when we're most responsive. That's when following His footsteps becomes easier. Our stride catches God's graceful rhythm and through His transforming power, we find ourselves fully clothed in His beauty.

How do we wait in the midst of doing?
  • Set aside a specific time and space just for God every day (even lock yourself in the bathroom if you must)
  • Read the Bible and ask God for wisdom and understanding as you read
  • Pray (speak your heart honestly- you can't frighten God)
  • Listen for God's whisper
  • Surrender old habits and heart wounds to God and let him melt and scrape and peel
Help us to believe that there is beauty and purpose and potential underneath all our layers. Help us hang onto the hope that what you began in us you will complete. Grant us the opportunity, the time and the willingness to wait in your presence and allow you to peel and scrape away at every layer that hinders us from becoming all you intended us to be. Strip our hearts bare, Lord and transform us. Clothe us in your beauty and help us to understand our full potential through the power and name of your Son, Jesus. Amen.

If you joined me here from Encouragement Cafe, welcome!

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