The Little Things: More than just a table
By KELLY PRESTON, Special to The Paper
It’s not just a table; it’s the epicenter, the heart, of our home.
Countless family meals have been eaten at the table. Countless school projects have been created at the table.
Countless rounds of Candy Land, UNO, and Chutes & Ladders have been played at the table.
Countless little things and big things have been discussed at the table.
Countless memories have been made at the table.
And as you can imagine, countless scratches, marks, and layers of gunk have accumulated over the years, and no amount of cleaning would take these scratches, marks and gunk away.
My husband had to get out his heavy-duty sanding machine to remove these layers in order to put a fresh coat of lacquer on in order for our table to shine again.
As he kept sanding and sanding, it felt as if years and years of memories that were made at this table had been stripped away.
And that pained my heart.
Thankfully, that didn’t happen. All those memories are still alive and well in my heart, and in the thousands of pictures I’ve taken.
Then this hit me. My husband’s work on the table reminded me of how the Lord wants to work in our hearts.
He so desperately wants to strip away all the layers of masks we wear in order to expose the raw, real, natural self that He created us to be.
And He so desperately wants to remove all the layers of marks, scratches and gunk that accumulate in our lives.
Pain, heartbreak, struggle, grief, anger, pride, addiction and fear are just a few layers that can build up in one’s life, until we allow the Lord to do His work and sand it away.
We just have to let Him.
II Corinthians 5:17 says, “… if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”
Does that mean all those “layers” of pain and struggles will be completely gone?
Yes and no. Yes, God can do anything. He is fully capable to free us from all these things.
But we live in a sinful world where pain and struggles are realities. And God often allows our pain and struggles to be used for His glory and so we realize our utter dependence on Him.
We were made to shine, just like our lovely “new” table now shines after my husband’s handiwork was completed. But in order to shine, a lot of work must be done to remove all of the masks, all of the gunk.
And the work isn’t easy. Removing layers of pain and struggle can be downright hard. In the end, though, it will be worth it. Without those layers being stripped away, we can’t be all that God created us to be.
This also isn’t a one time job. My husband will inevitably need to work his magic on our table after more layers of gunk accumulate over the next few years.
We, too, must continually allow the Lord to remove the layers of pain and struggle in our hearts. And as these layers are removed, we can add layers that God calls us to clothe ourselves in: compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, forgiveness, and love (Colossians 3:12-14).
So now as I look at my shiny table, I’m reminded of God’s faithfulness — how He loves us, gunk and all — but He doesn’t want us to stay that way. He is faithful to remove the layers in our lives so we too, can shine!
Kelly Preston is a nurse-turned-stay-at-home-mom to four amazing and energetic children. Though she sometimes forgets to buy toilet paper amidst their busy schedules, Kelly finds time to run RACE for the Orphans, a non-profit focused on supporting adoptive families. She loves Jesus, people, a really good book, and pondering the little things.