|Sometimes, even when things get torn apart, good can still come from it.
Michelle and I have lived in our current house for about 15 years now. Over that time, it seems like we’ve been through the entire house with a round of renovations in each room. Paint changed. Walls removed. Lights added. Flooring switched. I’m pretty sure we’ve hit every room at least once now.
When we moved in, the first room we tackled was the family room. After the kitchen, it’s the room we are in the most. So for 15 years, we’ve been looking at the same walls, colors and floors as we’ve relaxed, talked with the kids, watched them grow, watched Bills games, celebrated Christmas, birthdays and the like. Routines were created and viewpoints were solidified in that room. So when the walls started coming down and the pile of trim, molding, old paneling and drywall piled up in the driveway, I had a brief sense of loss, grieving the change a bit. And yet, I know something good, brighter and newer is coming….. but it’s hard getting there.
I wonder if Jesus disciples felt that way at all? As he came and taught them a “new” way and direction and boundary and reach and grace of God, how did they feel about this change? We hear from Peter time after time that he’s stuck in his old ways. And yet each time Peter clings to the old, Jesus gently redirects him to “follow him” and learn this new way. Something good and newer and different is coming.
I’ve felt this way many times during this pandemic with all the changes we have been forced to go through. I grieve the loss of so many things that we aren’t able to do now and might not be able to go back to. But as with Peter, I have to believe that God is about to show us a new, better thing. As with my family room, I look forward to the new, brighter and better thing coming.
Jeremiah reminded the people: “For surely I know the plans I have for you” says the Lord “plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you a future with hope.”
Last night, I went out in the driveway and started sifting through the remnants of my “old” family room and pulled out all the pine trim and molding. I grabbed the saw and starting cutting it up into small pieces.
As we continue to transition through these challenging times with changes in church, school, and family routines, don’t forget to name the grief/loss that is involved in these changes. It’s ok to do that! It’s important to do that. With our health situations, family traditions and relationships, what parts are important to let go of and what parts are important to hang onto? What changes are we in the middle of that could be a blessing? And what parts of these “pandemic renovations” can we take, change and repurpose to bless our lives in new ways in the future?
We may not be named Peter, but how is Jesus inviting you and me to “follow him” and more deeply trust him during these times of change?
Lord, help us through the traditions and redirect us toward the blessings coming. Amen
Still in One Peace,