Jan and I have lived in our small cottage for the last 20 years. We have done a lot of work on our home and property over the years but never did much in the kitchen. About a month ago, we decided our kitchen cabinets needed a fresh coat of paint. We hired a professional paint contractor to strip and repaint the cabinets. The job took several days. We were happy to be able to book the job because the contractor was moving her business out of state as soon as our job was complete.
The resurfacing was finally finished yesterday. This morning, while it was still dark outside, I entered the kitchen and saw why we needed to have the refurbishing done. The kitchen was brilliant even while surrounded by the darkness of the predawn hours. After 20 years of constant use, the paint had worn off the cabinets near the doorknobs, some denting had occurred, and thankfully the 1990s pinkish paint that was popular in that era would be covered with a beautiful soft white. It is like a different kitchen.
From time to time, our faith needs refurbishing. We need to strip down the accumulated wear of our assumptions, fill in the dents where pain and betrayal have taken place, and then repaint our faith with a fresh layer of truth, truth not discolored by the wear and tear we picked up over the years. Like the new kitchen cabinets, when we engage in refurbishing our faith it will become bright once again reflecting the light of God’s hope.
Some believers are in a process of deconstructing their faith in an attempt to find clarity. A journey of deconstruction has two destinations. One destination will produce a departure from the faith in disgust at the abuse of religion gone bad. The other destination requires a stripping away of all the things that made us want to walk away to lead us back to why we believed in the first place. That destination will revive a personal relationship with Jesus upon which we can refurbish our faith to express something simple and beautiful, reflecting the light of His life in us in a new way.
Jan and I could not have done the refurbishing job our painting contractor accomplished. We had to hire a professional to put a new face on our cabinets. The deconstructing and reconstructing of our faith can only be done, in a healthy and life-giving way, under the leading of the Spirit who will be faithful to lead us into all truth. All other influences will lead us to a place of despair.
The reconstruction that follows a laborious and sometimes painful process of deconstruction can become a Spirit-led journey of hope if we give the Lord permission to lead the way. That journey will always bring us back to Jesus to see Him in a new way, free from the encumberments and disappointments that diminished the intended beauty of a pure and simple faith.