Reflections – 2013.02

Building and Maintaining – February 2013

I just finished renovating my upstairs bathroom.  And by “finished”, I
don’t mean that it is 95% done, with some painting to do, some
caulking required.  I mean I am finished.  Over.  Done.  Checked off
the list.  Except that this morning Jenny informed me that there was a
bolt that was loose that holds the toilet in place.  So I fixed it.
And I am noticing that the sink has a clog (not too bad yet) that I
thought I had attended to, but has quickly become noticeable again.
And eventually I will get around to that as well … and there will be
more things I am sure.  Maintenance mode has begun.

I loved working on that bathroom.  Especially on the well-fastened,
now indestructible  subfloor (if that is the correct name for it).
Concerned about the very real possibility of the subfloor suddenly
coming loose for no reason at all, I made sure it was secured with
more screws than a normal homeowner would use on such a project.  It
was fun.

Building something / doing a home improvement project is a treat of
sorts for me (don’t ask my boys if they have the same opinion).  It is
a different type of “creative” than preparing sermons and so I find it
therapeutic.  Maintaining something is quite different.  I often am
irritated by it, and so I procrastinate (maybe a new light bulb will
just find its way into that darkened room) and give it a lower

I am thankful that the God who created all things and who created new
life in us by His Spirit doesn’t seem to mind maintenance mode too
much. His providential care of His creation and His steadfast love,
His faithfulness, towards His people that is expressed in hundreds of
ways over the course of our lives are worthy of our reflection and
thanksgiving.   The Scripture (I Peter 5:10) says that “After you have
suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you
to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself restore, confirm,
establish and strengthen you.”  I love it – He makes us new (calls us
to His eternal glory in Christ) and then delights in the maintaining
and strengthening of that work!

So next time you complain about having to fix something for the
fiftieth time or having to wash those clothes again or just having to
do stuff at all, remember your God.  He has dealt patiently with us
each and every day, many of us for a long time now, doing creature
maintenance activities such as providing us with another meal and
keeping the earth spinning, and those “people of God” maintenance
activities that we need to praise Him for – forgiving us again,
protecting us from our enemies again, reminding us continuously of our
call to love and serve Him and one another, bearing fruit in us, and
remembering His promises to us in Christ … These are no small things
… an unmaintained home falls apart … an unmaintained life
collapses … but a life in the hands of our God is a maintained one,
a secure one, a life that will, as the Scripture says, move from the
perishable to the imperishable … from the mortal to the immortal …
Paul says that knowing this we should “be steadfast, immovable, always
abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor
is not in vain.”  For after all, we work for the Master Builder, for
the Master Maintainer, for the Master.