Well, we HAVE a driveway! A beautiful, paved with asphalt DRIVEWAY!
The asphalt guy called Thursday night to report they were coming on Friday, and the kids and I spent at least 3 to 5 minutes jumping up and down and cheering, "Asphalt tomorrow! Asphalt tomorrow!" It was EXCITING!
The next morning we arose and the momma had a GREAT idea! Drop all planned lessons and turn this asphalt into a project... One great learning experience.... Only I didn't know that God had a lesson planned for me too.
On WONDERFUL Wednesday, the men arrived to grade the driveway. They scooped it out, flattened it to even and packed it down tight. By Thankful Thursday, we already had a gorgeous, flat dirt driveway. But since flat dirt does not last long, we needed more. On Friday.... OH FRIDAY...
I watched the men pour the steaming hot blacktop onto our driveway,
scrape it flat with a BIG ugly machine
and then press it down tight with a HEAVY steamroller.
As you saw in my very first picture, the results were beautiful! [and functional too]
As this process unfolded in front of my eyes I saw an analogy forming. This driveway paving project made me think of the struggles we endure in life. See sometimes WE are my driveway... full of fissures, pot holes, and bare spots. When people come in contact with us they have to bounce along over the flaws, hanging on for dear life to avoid being hurt.
Every once in a while we come to the realization that we need some work. We might pray a furtive, "God, give me patience." or "Lord, I want to trust you more." Sometimes someone else prays the prayer, "Father, get a hold of my daughter's heart!" or "Jesus, PLEASE change my spouse."
In He comes with His shovels and rakes, flattening out the rough patches and evening out our landscape. This part isn't too uncomfortable. You know the part where He reveals to us, "It is YOU being selfish." or "You don't have RIGHT motives." how bout "Your spending habits are out of whack." or "You should NOT be in relationship with that person." It's uncomfortable, humbling, maybe a little embarrassing. But at the end of it we are flattened out, smooth, functional. We don't hurt people as much with our flaws fixed by the grace of God.
He could just leave us like that... a dirt road, flat and functional... but if He did, it really wouldn't last long. The rain would reform the gulleys, the wind would blow away the dirt, eventually we'd be right back to where we were in the first place.
It is smarter if He sends in the asphalt guys. Ya, that's the PAINFUL part. Hot, steaming asphalt poured on top of us... job eliminated, child sick, car broken down.... The asphalt is scraped flat and pressed down nice and tight. It isn't fun. It is PAINFUL! All that black hot asphalt of affliction... the scraping away until it is nice and flat... and then as if to add insult to injury the steamroller comes out and rolls over and over and OVER us.
Right now we're in the place where our cars are parked on the road. We have to let the blacktop settle a little before we can drive on it. Struggles are that way too. I find at the end of a really rough patch where God has flattened me out and laid some asphalt on top of what He was teaching me, He typically puts up a little rope and flag barrier at the end to keep troubles away for a short season. [sometimes so short that if I blink I miss it!]
In the end, the Kastner family ended up with a BEAUTIFUL and FUNCTIONAL new driveway... solid and firm... able to withstand the weather, the traffic, the skateboards, bikes and bouncing balls....
In the end, you will end up with a BEAUTIFUL and FUNCTIONAL spirit... solid and firm... able to withstand the trials, the everyday traffic....
If God's paving you today, hang on. Let Him work. It may inconvenience you, cause you pain, smell kinda bad but in the end the results will be BEAUTIFUL.