The neighbors are having a year. And it’s not one they want to repeat. Their oldest son got his driver’s license and his first car. Then coronavirus hit and they haven’t left their house much at all. Their air conditioner died its final death and had to be replaced. A huge tree fell on their house, causing major damage. It split their deck in two. A couple of windows and gutters had to be replaced. Their old roof was replaced last week. This week was set aside for repairing the chimney. The final step will be to replace the stucco on the chimney.
I’ve watched the workers as they’ve been installing the scaffolding for the chimney repair. The installation is quite daunting. The team is made of five or six workers. They’ve been working for two days now setting up the three story scaffolding. It’s tall and unwieldy. I bet a strong wind could knock it over. But we don’t want that. It would fall on my house.
But this scaffolding. It’s an interesting situation. I noticed last week the first level had been installed during the roof replacement. Three of the scaffolding legs were secured on level ground. The fourth leg was not. Only part of it was touching the thick board it had been set on. I knew that would be trouble once people were standing on the scaffolding. I was assured that all four legs would be secured before the work began. One could only hope.
Now for the past two days, these workers have been steadily working to secure the scaffolding. And it has rained both days. Work has stopped for hours on end. But once the rain stops, these workers reappear to meet their goal. A strong place for workers to be safe.
I notice this scaffolding as it towers in the air. It has supports screwed to the sides in multiple places. To strengthen it. To steady it. To anchor it. It is set up to withstand the weight and burdens it will hold in the coming days. It has been prepared for a heavy load.
The next day, the real work starts. The scaffolding is now in place and secured. The worker climbs up the tall scale as if he does this every day. And he does. Later in the morning, I notice the destruction that has taken place in preparation for the rebuilding of the new chimney. The two old ugly chimney pipes stand bare. Surrounded by pieces of concrete blocks. The worker is dismantling each piece in preparation for the repairs. It’s tedious but necessary work.
And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God. Titus 2:12
I think of my soul. I think of the repair work God has been performing on me for years. He’s working to secure my soul for eternity. I must be willing to let him continue. For it is a daunting task he has laid out. The tearing down of old feelings and haunting hurts. The dismantling of my fears and rejections. The displaced dreams and sorrows. The hidden sins and wayward leanings. The old is going away. The new is being built.
The dismantling of the old chimney prepares a way for the new one to be strong and steady for many years. It will secure the future of the entire house. But it is a big job. This work that is taking place.
The worker works from the inside out. He tears out all the old concrete blocks, blowing away all the dust and debris. He lays down solid new concrete blocks and cements them in place. Perfectly aligned and secured. The work is immaculate. It will withstand many storms and seasons.
The remaining work will make the outside of the chimney as beautiful as the inside. Some may think the inside doesn’t require beauty, but to the worker who has learned the trade, it is a requirement. To him, the completion of his work is beautiful. It is his pride and joy. Sure. It will be covered by the stucco that will be on display for the world. The finished exterior will be seen and admired by the homeowners and neighbors. But the chimney builder knows the truth of what is inside. The true work that has been laid for a solid safe working chimney.
This rebuilding of my innermost being is meant to replace the unstable layers of humanity that have built up. The old belief system is being chipped away, so a biblical foundation can be laid on solid ground. Oh. It’s hard work. There will be sweat and tears. Blood and guts. But the end result will be a solid framework to draw me closer to God and deeper into His Word.
But the builder knows that the work he is doing on the inside will only be seen by him. The outer work, though seen by the rest of humanity, was also created by this builder. But the outside wasn’t made to last. So it crumbles and wrinkles. Parts wear out and are worn. But the inside. That is where the true work is done for eternity. And only the builder can see the work. Oh. Others can see the results of the work. They may notice. They may not. But the work of the spirit will be what makes eternity. The outside view will be an afterthought.
The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7
Beauty and strength lie on the inside for the builder to behold. Only the builder knows the true worth of his work.