This isn’t my real kitchen table. But it’s the same idea!
So we’re doing a little renovation on our kitchen. Tiles are ripped up, dust is everywhere, and saving account is draining. Doing it on a budget, we’re just re-painting our cabinets not replacing them. But nevertheless we’ve had a few days of everything out of them cupboards and covering every available surface. Our dining room table is gone! Our coffee tables – gone! Even a couple living room chairs are now holding cups, dishes, dry goods, basically all the contents of our cupboards.
I have a hard time with renovations! It’s not just watching all the money disappear from our savings account (although it is that! I’m a good saver but not a good spender!). It’s not just the dust (although I hate dust!). It’s the chaos, inconvenience, and the clutter! I’ve always been an organized person. I like things in their place. Being ex-military does not help in this predilection. I actually think it’s a good thing to be like this, although… when chaos, inconvenience, and clutter comes I get anxious. I have a hard time sitting down. I don’t know where everything is. I just want to make breakfast the old, convenient way. It is actually really hard for me to see the normalcy of my routines, home, schedule, and life upended. But, I keep telling myself, it is for something good in the end.
Often life isn’t the way we would have chosen it in a given season. Routines give way to Chaos – “this feels out of control somehow!” Ease turns into Inconvenience – “why can’t things be easier!” And what it feels like we can handle becomes Clutter - “this is more than I feel I can handle!” Life can become like a kitchen in the process of renovation. But there is one truth we can remember – God is in Control.
Yesterday, I was feeling anxiety about my mid-reno home and life. My kids were eating pizza in the living room (on the new couch, no less! Gasp!). My brother-in-law was busy painting. My wife was trying to keep the household running. I felt anxious. I couldn’t sit down. I was on the verge of allowing myself some grouchiness. I couldn’t rest! But I felt the Lord remind me that it was all for a good end. My little kitchen was going to look much nicer. My wife was going to be happy. I would find satisfaction in a the completion of the job. It may be Chaos, Inconvenience, and Clutter but there was an end, a purpose.
My life is similar to my kitchen. I’d prefer no chaos, no inconvenience, no clutter. But I am not in control of my own life. That would be a scary thought if it were not for the wonderful truth that God is. God is in control. He guides all human history. He causes the waves to rise and fall on the ocean. He clothes the lilies and feeds the sparrows. He is the Grand Author of the world and He is author of my life. And everything is for a good end.
What we feel in our hearts really isn’t about my kitchen and the state thereof. It is about whether we can trust that God is in control working all things to a good end for us. This doesn’t mean that it isn’t difficult, or shouldn’t be. It doesn’t mean that overwhelming seasons will pass quickly. Even my renovations aren’t as big or long as many kitchen renos are. It doesn’t mean that it won’t hurt to have the order of our lives disrupted so that God can do His more important ordering. But it does mean that He is in control. And there is some rest to be found.
At least my kitchen isn’t this bad!