I love home-improvement TV shows. I love seeing an old, ugly, unusable room turned into a fresh, beautiful, workable space. I love the whole before-and-after thing. I love the part where you choose the paint color at the beginning and accessorize at the end. But anybody who's ever done the slightest bit of home renovation know that there's a middle part where things get horribly messy. That part where you're peeling back the wallpaper so you can give the wall a fresh coat of paint, only to find the rotten wood, from where the shower next door was improperly installed and now you can't paint the bedroom without pulling out the bathroom too.
And you start thinking maybe that old wallpaper with the blue tulips wasn't so bad after all.
Years ago, Keith Green sang this song called "So You Wanna Go Back to Egypt," about the Israelites. They escaped from slavery in Egypt, only to find themselves out in a wilderness they couldn't cope with. They were ready to go back to slavery again. And this seems like a stupid choice.
Unless you've been in that wilderness yourself. In the middle of a mess that doesn't look like it can be fixed. And then you get it. Egypt is safer. Like the Israelites said, at least there were leeks and cucumbers.
For me, it was like this. I thought we were just going to slap a little paint on the wall, and instead it was a gut job. I thought we were going to just jog across the Jordan in a week or two, and instead there's been a whole lot of wandering around. I thought I needed a Hello Kitty band aid and God knew it was going to be open-heart surgery.
In the middle of change, sometimes the mess is so great that all I can do is hang onto "Jesus loves me, this I know."
I know I can't go back. I'm not sure where I'm going to end up. But underneath are the everlasting arms.
And that is what I know.