Yesterday, I shared with you one of my greatest investments in the world of camping. For fifty dollars, I got a diamond in the rough. I was the proud new owner of what promised to be one of the greatest rehab stories of a camper ever written. This camper was going to be great, and even though I didn’t know how I would get to that point, my excitement and willingness would override any doubt or insecurities I had in my abilities.
After all, I never went to carpentry school, never studied as an apprentice carpenter, but for some reason, God had gifted me with the ability to use a hammer, a skill saw, and various other tools. Gentlemen, if you need a tool, I probably have it. Ladies, I’m sorry, but my all-time favorite store is Home Depot. I could stay there for hours and shop. As Tim, the tool man, used to say, “Ah uoooo!!!”
Now, some of you may be wondering what the inside looked like. It wasn’t winning first prize at the fair; I can tell you that. The inside was just as ugly as the outside, and it had become home for many of God’s littlest creatures, creatures you couldn’t see at first glance. So, with rubber gloves and a dust mask, I went in. The first thing I had to do was clean it out. Someone tie a rope around my waist in case I don’t come out after an hour.
We’re going in.
Walking on the camper floor was treacherous enough. Its floor had been exposed to the weather, and its foundation had started to rot. One wrong move, and I was going down on a balance beam like a new gymnast. (I’ve been watching the Olympics).
It’s funny, as I sit here and write this, I can still see the inside of this camper, and this is going back fourteen years. There were spider webs, rotten wood, smelly seat cushions, a nasty-looking refrigerator, beer cans everywhere, and moldy food pieces. Whoever lived in this previous wasn’t a perfect housekeeper.
You have to remember now; this wasn’t a popup camper; this was a full-size walk-in, tow behind your car, bathroom with a shower, camper. The bathroom, by the way – well, I won’t gross you out with those details. I think you get the picture. And the best part about it – it belonged to me!
Wow, did my garbage guys love me?
I started swinging my hammer and cutting stuff up. I was filling up garbage cans and making a trash heap the size of Mount Rushmore – not that big, but it probably seemed that way to them. Little by little, I was taking it down to the frame. Little by little, I was cleaning it out.
Little by little, God cleans us out. Sometimes I feel like he gets inside of us and starts swinging his hammer. He starts taking things to the curb. Little by little, it gets a little neater inside; it feels a lot better. Little by little, he cleans out the garbage in our lives and starts replacing it with joy, happiness, and peace. He starts replacing the garbage with Himself.
Ezekiel 36:25-27 says this, “I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean, I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you. I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.”
God had promised Israel not only to restore them physically but spiritually as well, and he promises that same thing to us today. Don’t be afraid of the swinging hammer. Don’t be afraid of allowing God to bring His joy, his Spirit, to you so that you may experience all he has to offer you – a complete and content life living for Him.
Father, I thank you for the promises you made and all the promises you have already kept. Like the dirty camper Lord, I once was lost out in the woods, but now I am found. I am still being worked on, and I’m happy about it. My life is more joyful. I am more content. I know I have a long way to go, but that’s ok; I’m willing to take each day as it comes because the promises you have made will be worth it. Father, I love you more than I know how to say right now. Lord, I lift my friends and whatever trials they are experiencing today. I lift them to you. In your Sons’, name I pray, Amen.
In His Service