We had a mess in our basement. Worse than that, we’ll be making an even bigger mess in the weeks to come as we dig up and replace the sewer line that runs under the house. The steps in this process begin with pulling up the vinyl flooring so we can cut through the concrete to reveal the defective clay tiles that make up our sewer line. To complicate this first step, we had water under the vinyl that had over a period of several months, slowly dissolved the layers of tan paint that had been put over the concrete floor in the years before we’d laid the vinyl. This goopy, smelly mess took a while to scrub and scrape off as we took up planks of flooring. It was a slow process. And it was a shadow of what is to come. Those clay tiles have been leaking sewage for years.
It amazed me how the floor had never dried out and how much water was still there. I couldn’t believe how water had dissolved the paint. At one point I commented to my husband that I wished stripping furniture was that easy! It reminded me of how temporary many things in life are, and of how God cleanses things. Water. It is vital to life. It is destructive. It is cleansing.
Water, fire and blood are all used in scripture to cleanse things. It was in the shedding of the blood of Jesus Christ, the lamb of God, that our sins were forgiven. I was baptized in a tub of water, symbolically professing my spiritual change from death to life. I was buried with Him in baptism and raised with Him through my faith in the power of God who raised Him from the dead. Colossians 2:12
We’ll be seeking the advice of experts so that what we do will fix the house for years to come. When we have deep-seated problems in our life, we need the advice of godly people to help us. We can go through life making temporary adjustments on our own to address the secondary effects, or we can tackle the bigger problem at its root cause. Sometimes it is just time to dig up the concrete, make a big, stinky mess in order to truly heal.
We’ve delayed this project for years hoping we wouldn’t have to do this. We’ve feared the unknown (lacking the know how ourselves), the cost, and the mess. But now we realize that the problem isn’t going away on its own. If left in its current condition, we’ll repeatedly have problems; not every day but frequently enough. So we’re covering this in prayer, looking to God for help and guidance, asking for help from others, and then doing our part – taking the necessary action to reach our goal.
You may need to make a big mess in order to reach your goal. Be encouraged. Life can be messy. Press on.