#483: Immeasurably Better
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Reflections by the Pond
January 24, 2011
Living out here in the wilds of Iowa we are not accustomed to having people around. There is no sidewalk in front of our house on which strangers traverse our property, and even the gravel road is of sufficient distance that we sometimes do not even hear the engines of passing vehicles. So under normal circumstances hearing voices or the physical activity of people raises mental alarm bells, followed by a quick determination of whether they be friend or foe. And if, for any reason, we become aware of them doing anything more than just knocking at our door, we stand poised to dial the county sheriff.
But for the last several months workmen have shown up on a fairly regular basis to ply their trades on the exterior of our house. Now, at our initial meeting, they knocked at our door to present themselves and notify us of their presence. After that, however, they have come and gone at their pleasure, with very often the first evidence of their arrival being the pounding of hammers or rending of crowbars.
At first it seemed odd for men to show up unannounced and begin working on our house, at times perched on ladders right outside our bedroom windows. Their noise could be inconvenient, their activity a distraction to a life more accustomed to solitude and silence.
But in no time this became a comforting routine. If they missed a day, or were later than usual one morning, it was now oddly reassuring to hear the banging and drilling and cutting that informed us they were back at it. Suddenly progress was being made. The old and rotten were being stripped away in favor of something shiny and new—and immeasurably better.
And now, with the work on the house drawing to a close, we actually miss the regular presence of those noisy workmen who have been employing their skills to improve our dwelling.
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Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
2 Corinthians 5:17
The very moment I came to Christ I was a new creature; the instantaneous indwelling of the Holy Spirit transformed me into something I could not have been before. Even though new, however, I was yet unformed, a babe. A human baby, though wondrous and new, is yet a mere shadow of what he or she may some day become. The germ of human potential lies within the tiny child, but it is not yet realized and, if not nurtured, may wither, and fail to see fruition.
Just so, the baby Christian carries inside the germ of his spiritual potential. The Spirit vibrates and hums His readiness, like a massive, revving engine at the starting line, just waiting for the driver to pop the clutch. And the attentive Christian does pop the clutch, releasing the supernatural power of the Spirit to work in his life.
For the believer serious about his maturity, every new morning is a fresh opportunity for the hand of God to return to work on his life. He looks forward to the regular visitation, the hammering and scraping and prying away of the old fleshly encrustation. And even though it can be inconvenient, and is often downright painful, it is well worth it, for God working in a life results in something if not shiny and new, certainly immeasurably better.
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
2 Corinthians 3:17-18 niv
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