We always did our own painting when living in our ranch home in Florida. Whether outside or in, it was reachable and doable.

Oh, sure, I had to get up on a ladder to cut in the edges near the eight-foot ceilings. I would painstakingly apply the blue tape knowing my abilities needed that guide line and protection.

But then Ken took over with his arching roller that spread the paint faster and more efficiently. I took pride in painting the molding and trim work.

We even tackled painting the outside of our stucco dwelling with Ken doing the larger areas and leaving window trim and boxes to me. Together we made a pretty good team.

But our North Carolina house has high ceilings and more than one story. It is cedar siding with decks in three places. Therefore, we know that we cannot handle this job. Even inside is daunting because of the high ceilings.

Right now, as I sit on the upper deck, I am watching the house across the road being prepared for painting. The painter is the same contractor who will do our house next.

How fun it would be if he simply showed up and painted and got done. However, even he must do the preparation first if he wants the paint job to last and be beautiful.

So, first they pressure clean the entire surface to be painted in order to remove mold and dirt. Then it’s ready for a new paint job.

And so, we wait with eager anticipation for our turn.

However, it got me to thinking about how different... and yet similar in ways...this is to our spiritual lives.

For example... different.

When we come to Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins and receive him into our lives, we come just as we are. We don’t have to clean up our act or whitewash our hearts. It is by his power and grace alone that we are saved, cleansed and forgiven.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ,” says 2 Corinthians 5: 17 (NKJV), “he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”

However, once we belong to Him, our desires change and we want to live a life that pleases the Lord.

“Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth)” says Ephesians 5:8-10, “finding out what is acceptable to the Lord.”

Come as you are... then prepare to allow the Holy Spirit to encourage change in your behavior. Selah

Jan Merop, a prolific and award-winning writer, has had her column “Pause...and Consider” published weekly for almost 30 years. Her signature, Selah, indicating a time of silence, reflects her title. She and her husband, Ken, moved to Avery County two years ago and actively volunteer in the area. They have three sons and five grandchildren. Visit her blog Journeying with Jan at pauseandconsider.net.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.