Seeing the Big Picture

Posted: May 10, 2011 in Love and Marriage
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For anyone who says that people can’t change, I say, “You just don’t know.”  It’s true that many people don’t change, but there is too much evidence of changed hearts and lives all around us to take such a narrow view. 

Living with and loving a person who needs to change, but won’t, is a very difficult spot that many people find themselves in.  The message of this blog is simple.  Don’t give up.  With God, all things are possible. 

As my stony heart was being cut out, my eyes began to be opened to things that I should have seen, but didn’t.  It was during this time that the vision for the restoration tour was birthed. 

One day, about a year ago, as I was praying and meditating, I saw a vision that would become a driving force in my life and marriage.  I saw our marriage as a house going through stages.  At first, it was newly built and ready for the first occupants to move in.  The curb appeal was very strong and it was the kind of property that people would drive by and think, “What a great place!” 

That was us in the newlywed stage.  We were the ones always chosen as the cutest or most romantic couple.  We had that special something in our marriage in a big way and others recognized it.

Then the house began to experience normal wear and tear.  Some of the paint began to peel.  Hinges got rusty.  Windows began to stick.  All these were small things that happen naturally.  The key is that they are easy to fix. 

Some homeowners take pride in their house and quickly take care of this type of maintenance.  Others procrastinate.  I was one of the latter.  I let things go.  I’m not sure why.  I just didn’t see the big picture.

Eventually these little depreciations became bigger and bigger problems.  Boards began to sag.  The lawn and landscaping became an unruly mess.  There were plumbing and electrical problems.  Windows broke.  Not nearly so easy to fix now.

My response? I sat in my chair and ignored it.  It’s not that I didn’t care.  I just didn’t want to deal with it.  In the vision, I clearly saw how lazy and negligent I had been.  I saw my beautiful home turn into a dilapidated, run down eyesore. 

My wife and I used to buy old, run down properties and restore them.  We would find houses that were built to be something special and work on returning them to their former glory.  It’s very hard, dirty work and you have to deal with a lot of mess along the way.  You also have to undo a lot of things that shouldn’t have ever happened, but did.  You can’t ignore them and they won’t just go away.  They have to be dealt with before you can complete the restoration.

As this vision passed before me, I immediately recognized its meaning and what I had to do.  I had to get to work and it wasn’t going to be on little things.  This wasn’t routine maintenance.  If my wife was ever going to want to live in this house again, it was going to take a full scale gutting of all the mess and a committment to renewing all of it. 

Fortunately, I had the Master Builder, a carpenter from Bethlehem to lead me through the process.  The same one who said in the book of Revelation 21:5 “Look, I am making everything new.”  Time and circumstances were not in my favor, because this was going to be a long and daunting task, but for everyone who has ever heard or said the words, “It’s too late,” I would counter with the idea that as long as we have breath of life in our nostrils, it’s never too late.  Real change is possible, but it has to start with ourselves, on the inside.  Only then can meaningful change spill over into our circumstances.


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