Last year, my husband and I thought of repairing the leaks in the water closet for two purposes: to save on our water bill and to prevent the wooden floor from warping.
We went to Home Depot, bought Styrofoam and glue, and insulated the water closet freeing it from water condensation that had built up around it. After several hours of drying, we opened the water valve and checked on the effectiveness of our work of art. Hmn… we still found leaks around the toilet bowl even if the water tank was insulated. As a remedy, we bought food coloring and put it in the water closet. We want to detect which part of the closet or bowl was leaking but we couldn’t find it. As it turned out, we ended up buying a whole new set of water tank, toilet bowl and gasket wax and replacing the old one – an expensive move for non-plumbers.
Then we noticed that there were some parts in the floor that were always wet. We thought, “Wouldn’t it be nice if we change the covering as well?” The next day, we bought a box of vinyl tiles, removed the old linoleum that served as the bathroom floor for 25 years, and installed the new covering.
I had hoped it would end there but as we removed the old linoleum, we saw some parts of the wooden floor were wet and damaged. It's just like we were opening up a can of worms. The more we dug, the uglier the sight.
We are similar to the wet floors underneath the linoleum. On the outside, we seem fine but on the inside we need a major renovation. That is the reason God chisels us everyday. He removes things, situations, opportunities, or people in our lives to carve a creative workmanship in us - useful for His purpose. This is the only way we can be effective for Him. If He ignored and allowed us to sink in our selfishness and wallow in sin and pride, we would rot and mold. We wouldn’t really know our right purpose and use here on earth.
The chiseling process is time consuming, cumbersome and painful. The tools we used damaged the floors. Scratches were left on it. Had we left some parts of the old covering, we would never be able to lay the new covering perfectly. The surface has to be completely clean, flat and free from any previous coverings. In order to put on a new thing, we had to remove the old thing.
Our old lives were like the old linoleum – warped, stale, and rotten. God cannot use us if we are dirty and loaded with cares of this world. He needs to clean us. How can He do that? Actually, He already did. At Calvary, He felt all the 'tools' hit on him. He got the scratches, beatings, insults and death we should have gotten. He was the substitute and the payment for our sins. Through Him, we were made whole, clean, flat and free from the bondage of sins. All we have to do is acknowledge that act and allow Him to reign in us.
When I look at my bathroom now, it reminds me of God’s faithfulness. Before, I said “yikes!” but now I say “Wow!”