Tuesday, November 13 2018
I love new things. Their impeccability, their cleanness, their freshness, their brightness…
Late last year, we got new bathrooms in our house. We had discovered water damage on our dining room ceiling, that came from a ruptured pipe in one of our upstairs bathrooms - so we needed to fix it.
As repairs usually go, once you start with replacing a burst pipe somewhere, you need to change the surrounding floor and wall tiles as well. And then since everything else in our bathroom was already 15 years old and rather worn out and shabby, we ended up deciding to renovate the entire bathroom. And since we had to do one bathroom, and all three were in the same sad shape, we figured it was easiest and cheapest and best to redo all three.
It seemed like a simple and quick enough job. Our bathrooms are tiny, really – with just the bare essentials in them. How hard could it be to make them new again?
Sigh… little did I know what I was in for back then! A 1-month job turned into a 3-month nightmare!
In the initial dismantling, our en-suite bathroom and adjoining bedroom was flooded 5 times! Some days the workers would show up - and some days they wouldn’t. Our toilets were put in, taken out, put in again, taken out again, put in yet again - 3 times each! At first, the walls were painted carelessly and sloppily, and the fixtures were hung up crookedly - so it all needed to be done again! In the end, we waited for our furniture, our glass shower doors, and our mirrors for what seemed like forever!
I guess I should have known better. Making things new seems so simple and easy before you start. But then, wait until you do! What was I thinking?!?
So, here I sit in my home office, at my computer, today: remembering that torturous ordeal from late last year, and thinking about “new things”. About how wonderful they are! About how much I delight in them! But also about how they always, inevitably, come at a price. The time, the effort, the hard work, the building, the tearing down, the re-building, the financial cost. Not to mention the price of my frustration and my disappointment, the cost to my patience and my meekness: somehow things did not work out as I had envisioned and planned – and so I had to look hard within myself to accept what was.
All of which makes me think back to my morning devotional today.
“He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” (Revelation 21:5)
“Everything new!” I like that! I don’t like old, damaged, worn out, dirty things – I like them new and perfect, clean and immaculate. And “everything”! Wow! Not just some things, but everything! That certainly resonates with my perfectionism! And thankfully, unlike those of our bathroom labourers, God’s words are “trustworthy and true” – so “everything new” in God’s books is everything precise and faultless, everything excellent and exemplary, because He has said so.
And what are some of these “new” things that God means when He says “everything”?
- He means a new covenant: “The days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah … “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel … “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the LORD,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the LORD. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” (Jeremiah 31:31,33,34)
- He means a new heart and a new spirit: “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” (Ezekiel 36:26)
- He means a new birth: “Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again (or born anew).” (John 3:3)
- He means a new commandment: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” (John 13:34)
- He means a new creation: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
- He means a new mind and a new self: “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:22-24)
- He means a new heaven and a new earth: “But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.” (2 Peter 3:13)
Now that all is said and done, and despite all the trouble and frustration we went through, our three newly-renovated bathrooms sure do look nice! In fact, even better than we initially thought they might! Although there were moments and days when we certainly doubted that would ever happen!
When it comes to God’s promises of “new things” however – His promises of a new covenant of belonging and forgiveness, and a new commandment of love; of a new heart and mind and spirit for each one of His children; and one day of a new heaven and a new earth where righteousness dwells – I can rest completely and confidently assured, because God’s promises of "new things" are unconditionally and eternally trustworthy and true!
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