Since purchasing our country home eight years ago, we have renovated it a bit at a time, as funds have allowed. Some rooms have been complete gut jobs, like our little powder room under the stairs. Others have just needed some patching and painting and prettying up, like our mudroom. But our kitchen had us stymied for a while and we didn’t do much to it at all. A complete reno would be too expensive at this point in our lives, but it definitely needed some sprucing up. This was the original look:
So, last summer, we settled on painting the cabinets and replacing the hardware. That alone made a vast difference. (And my husband had already laid new hardwood floors.)
But when my husband and a friend removed the soffit and put in new lighting this summer–wow! What a difference! From one sad light in the middle of the ceiling, to eight recessed lights, along with under cabinet lighting and a beautiful polished nickel pendant over the sink–the room suddenly became an oasis of warmth and brightness. Though still a place where I spend many hours of work, I enjoy it far more than I did. Tasks are easier and more pleasurable thanks to the sparkling light.
But as you might guess, all that light revealed my old kitchen’s flaws as well. The laminate countertops look a bit shabbier, any bit of dust or grease on the walls jumps out in 3-D detail, and the chips in the floor are far more noticeable than they were before. And of course, the giant hole in the ceiling where the soffit used to be will stand out starkly until the drywallers come to repair it.
The other day, I had a light bulb moment (pun intended, sorry) as I realized how much my new lights remind me of God. I John 1:5 says that he is light, and in him is no darkness at all. What an incredible comfort! Though we may not always understand his reasoning, we can trust that God never has an ulterior motive or hidden agenda as he directs our lives. He will never betray or mislead us. A friendship with God is a relationship with the most open, loving, and pure friend we could ever have, and if we are walking with him, we can trust that all of our life experiences will work together for our good, as it says in Romans 8:28.
Yet, just as my new lights revealed the flaws in my kitchen, so God’s purity can reveal our shortcomings. When we compare ourselves and our faults not to others, but to his holiness, suddenly we see how far short we fall. When Isaiah the prophet had a vision of the Lord, he said this:
“Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.”–Isaiah 6:5
It can be a bit daunting to pray as David did, in Psalm 139, “Search me, O God, and know my thoughts. Try me, and see if there be any wicked way in me.”
Honestly, I don’t always want God to cast his searchlight into my heart and mind. It’s not so pretty in there. But when I do, and I ask him to clean out all the dust and grime layered there and forgive me for my sins, I feel a shift in my soul, a lifting in my spirit.
“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”–I John 1:7
Are you walking in the light?