Tearing Away the Layers
Jun 1st, 2012 | By Lori Kempton | Category: Women of Faith, Words of Wisdom
By Lori Kempton –
Have you ever had to remove wallpaper? We just moved into a new home with wallpaper everywhere! I hear that it’s coming back into style. With my luck, once I get it all off, it will be popular again. I have stripped walls for days and it looks like I’ll be doing it for weeks before I get it all down. I’ve tried all of the tricks and there is nothing that makes it fun or easy. I don’t think anyone should be able to sell a home without removing all of the wallpaper before it transfers to the new owner.
As I was laboring every free minute I had on my wallpaper this week, I thought this week’s article is going to be really boring. I have nothing to write about but wallpaper. It is consuming me and I will work until the job is done. I know this about myself. It’s a flaw. But once I decide to do something I focus on, it becomes an obsession until I finish.
A couple of weeks ago, we had a baptism service at our church. I always shed tears of joy each time another person chooses to follow Christ and is baptized as an expression of that new life. It made me reflect on the day when I was baptized. What a glorious day it was. I did it out of obedience, but never realized the blessing I would receive in return. As I came up out of the water, I felt as though I would never be the same. My old life had been washed away and the new life had begun. Literally!
Then my thoughts went back to my walls. In my warped mind, I started imagining how my walls must have felt being smothered by this horrifically ugly paper for twelve long years. It may have dreamed of seeing the sunshine, breathing a fresh breath of air and simply being released from the bondage this paper held on it. As I steamed and scraped, it seemed like some pieces of paper just fell off the wall; no problem there. However, there were pieces that shredded into tiny pieces as I pulled and seemed to be extra hard to remove. I worked diligently all week, steaming, scraping, and tugging, over and over again. A little at a time, I am beginning to see the walls as the builder created them to be when he built this home twelve years ago. Ahhhh! They can breathe again! Hehe.
I started thinking about those who were baptized and how their new lives will be similar to that of my walls. They have been in bondage and now in their new lives they will begin to pull away the layers of the old life so that can finally see the true being God created them to be. Some areas of their lives will be more easily unpeeled than others. There will be those things in their past that will want to hang on and actually shred into little pieces as they are being pulled away making it more difficult to be freed from them.
If you are that person, feeling that you’ve still got some layers to remove, don’t give up. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you some extra steam so that you can understand what you have to do to rid yourself of that issue forever. Even if each piece comes off in shreds, it’s OK. Each person is different. God allows us each to move at our own pace as He patiently peels away the layers one by one.
This week as I am steaming and peeling away at my layers on my walls, I’ve decided not to grumble and complain. Rather, I am going to be praying; praying for those who are still struggling with the old life for whatever reason. I’m going to ask God to remove those things left over from the old life that aren’t pretty while helping my friends find the real beauty underneath. I pray that His scraping will be gentle but effective and when steam is necessary, I pray that He does whatever it takes to remove this hindrance from their lives. So for now, wallpaper removal seems like a worthwhile task. That is as long as I look at it through God’s eyes and include a lot of prayer! 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NKJV) “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
Lori Kempton graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University with a Bachelor of Science degree in management. Her entrepreneurial spirit has led her to own her own small business for several years in the past, help start a crisis pregnancy center, plant a church, and write a book–Just Trying to Be a Blessing! She and her husband, Jim, reside in Cincinnati, OH and have four grown children, four grandchildren and one on the way. www.JustTryingToBeABlessing.com