Monday, February 6, 2017

When You Don't Do the Heavy Lifting

Last winter we experienced some water damage that stained our bedroom ceiling.  As my family's resident painter, I had intended to paint the ceiling myself.  I convinced myself that while I was at it, I'd also paint our upstairs hallway and stairwell to remove the six-thousand-or-so hand prints that my kids have left over the years.  (Every child's logic: Why hold the railing when you can just as easily touch the wall the entire way upstairs?)

I never got to this painting, though.  You see, we didn't have an adequate ladder to reach the upper portions of the stairwell, and I wasn't entirely comfortable with the height, and while I'm entirely fine painting walls, I'm not keen on tackling ceilings.  So, after a year of good intentions that never led to action, we finally hired a friend who owns a painting business.  In two days the hallway, stairwell, and bedroom ceiling were painted, and everything was put back together again.

I didn't do any real work at all.  Our painter friend painted.  My husband moved the furniture back in place.  I simply hung a few pictures, and in the brief interim when our bedroom furniture was shifted, I vacuumed the scary tufts of dust and debris around the edges of baseboards that hadn't been exposed for a few years.

Yesterday morning while I was at church, I thought about how I didn't do any heavy lifting.  The job was finished by capable hands, and I simply enjoyed the results.  I felt a nudge in my soul, a reminder of all the heavy things that I sometimes carry -- concerns about my children, or work, or whether Facebook eventually will blow up from political divisiveness.

They're not good loads to carry; I don't have the capacity or strength to manage them.

Thankfully, God does the heavy lifting for those who ask.  He invites us to come to him, we who are heavy-laden, and he carries our burdens for us.  Just as the fresh coats of paint corrected the water stains, God is capable to cover our damaged parts, and just as the furniture found its way back in place, God knows how to put our disorganized pieces back together.

Oh, I'll paint again, I'm sure, but for now, I plan to enjoy the benefits and remember that I don't always need to do the heavy lifting myself.


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