“And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”  II Corinthians 3:18

I’m not sure if you have noticed recently, but there is an art of renew!  You don’t believe me?  Look on Pinterest for just a minute and you’ll see what I mean.  There’s an art to re-purposing old things, sprucing them up and giving them a new home.  It’s become an art!

We have this pretty extensive garden where I work and there’s a lot of what I would call, yard art!  The other day this U-haul pulled into the parking lot carrying a number of items the owner had purchased to be delivered intended to go into the garden.  I was nominated to help unload — no problem.  It was not as I expected.  The stuff in there was old — and I mean like, wood rotting kind of old — aged would be an understatement.  I thought to myself, “this stuff is ready for the burn pile!”

I couldn’t help but wonder where in the garden old crudy stuff was going to look good.  Since then, they’ve taken these trellis’, arbors and benches, sanded them and applied a fresh coat of weather proofing stain and all I can say is WOW!  They look fantastic!  They truly are reflecting the work of their carpenter and now ever-increasingly!

But this process . . . this process of renewal.  This period of transformation is anything but pleasant.  Would it look any different if we were talking about the art of renewing how we feel, what we think or even what we do (how we behave)?  There is a difference, but the art is the same!  When we begin to apply the principles of renewal to ourselves personally, our minds tend to lean towards thinking something like, “I’m a lot like the carpenter re-purposing a trellis for the garden.”  When, in fact, it may be closer to the truth if we took a look at identifying more with the trellis itself.

The challenge for us here is when we identify ourselves with the trellis we immediately think, “How in the world am I going to sand and stain myself?”  And that’s just it!  It’s not of yourself.  You can’t — but He can!

The process of renewal begins with a willingness to be sanded and stained by the Carpenter!  There is nothing we can DO to become MORE like Him — Christ IS our life!  But, along the journey of life something happens, our joints loosen, our skin dries out and cracks, our structure weakens with age.  We see ourselves as we think most others see us as worn and no good — unworthy of our original design.  And until someone comes along and looks beyond the dirt, the wear, the age will we then be reminded of who we really are!   When the Spirit reminds you and your heart surrenders to the sanding, you become Art of Renew!

You see, we allow ourselves to be thrown on the discard pile – we believe the lies about ourselves – because of the crud in our lives – our pasts.  We think we have no further purpose or value to anyone and we believe the lie!  But let me tell you, God, the Great Carpenter, has never forgotten His purpose for your original design.  So like that trellis, “Be still and know that I am [He is] God.”

Allow the Master’s hand to sand and stain so that through you, His glory will reflect ever-increasingly!

by:  Mark Cruver

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