Fearing more moisture problems or termites we asked the floor refinisher to investigate, and we called in the pest control folks, in an abundance of caution. The workman thought it was just old moisture damage; but, the manager of the pest control company came himself to ensure they had not overlooked anything in the initial inspection and treatment. He clambered around the crawl space and pronounced it free of termite damage. Then, he recommended an extra treatment, no charge, in case the culprits were carpenter ants, who eat damp wood.
Sin remains a problem in my life, though I confess Christ has paid my debt in full; I take steps to battle it – winning many battles, and losing some painful ones. Sometimes “religion” gets laid over the losses, covering old wounds, the way that carpet covered rotted wood.
My Carpenter, Christ, (Mark 6:3) is in the business of removing covering – especially “religious” coverings. What we are discovering is the vestige of sin’s damage; like those floor planks that need ripping out and replacing – the damage needs replacing. But, with what?
I still have the memories, fears, and faithlessness. Frankly, it’s easier to replace rotten wood than live with the fallout of rebellion – mine and others.
Though the world has seeped into my heart as relentlessly as moisture accumulates under a pier and beam home and its passions gnaw at me as determinedly as termites or carpenter ants, yet I hesitate to act; I won’t act out of the same abundance of caution I did for our home. Too often I am embarrassed to call out for help, anticipating other Christians’ rejection or derision. Worse, I doubt God cares, or, can help.
Is that what I would tell someone, though, who asked me for spiritual aid and comfort? “ Don’t bother me – or God; I don’t care and neither will He?”
No! I’d urge you to pray – I’d read you Scripture – I’d pray for you! Why is it easier, then, to tell you what to do, than to hear the Gospel for myself?
Maybe because asking God to help me shows just how feeble I am. Asking God shows me Who really is in charge; Confessing His Sovereign rule is one thing; living it is quite another. I don’t mind asking for help I can pay for – I resist anything that underscores how poor I am.
Today, Mr. Spurgeon commented on Lamentations 3:41, "Let us lift up our heart with our hands unto God in the heavens." He zapped me – identifying the cause of damage:
The act of prayer teaches us our unworthiness, which is a very salutary lesson for such proud beings as we are. If God gave us favours without constraining us to pray for them we should never know how poor we are, but a true prayer is an inventory of wants, a catalogue of necessities, a revelation of hidden poverty. While it is an application to divine wealth, it is a confession of human emptiness. The most healthy state of a Christian is to be always empty in self and constantly depending upon the Lord for supplies; to be always poor in self and rich in Jesus; weak as water personally, but mighty through God to do great exploits; and hence the use of prayer, because, while it adores God, it lays the creature where it should be, in the very dust.
And there’s always so much dust during any worthwhile remodeling! (Romans 8:29-31)