The last 7 days have been unlike anything I have ever experienced. I have gone from being the most non-construction, least mechanical man alive, to a deconstruction, mold eradicating, drywall and carpet ripping pro. We have served 17 homes in our neighborhood; carrying out their furniture, taking out their carpet, tearing out their drywall, insulation, baseboards, door frames, window sills, fireplace mantles, appliances and kitchen cabinets. It has been overwhelming to see most of the things that make a house a home for my neighbors piled up in their front yards. I wish I hadn’t had to learn so much about flood recovery.
A few days ago, I received word that one of my neighbors wasn’t going to remove their drywall or wood flooring and was going to save their bathtubs and their furniture. They thought they were safe just removing carpet. They took their baseboards out, poked some holes in their dry wall, removed their carpet, and moved their dried out furniture back into their house. Their wet clothes still hung in their closets.
I began to explain to them the danger that they were in. They didn’t believe me at first. They couldn’t see any mold. Their drywall looked fine above the line where it had flooded. They were going to treat what was visible and move on with their life.
I put my hammer into their wall and pulled away the drywall. I pulled out a soaking piece of insulation that had already begun to grow mold. I told them that it wasn’t what they could see that was dangerous; it was what lied beneath the surface that could be deadly. I told them that they had to be committed to doing whatever was necessary to remove any hint of mold in their house; otherwise they would be in trouble.
As I was thinking about my life, I have seen the same pattern in me. There have been times in my life where I have settled for treating only what is visible. There have been deadly sin patterns or hazardous heart conditions that weren’t visible to others, but I knew existed. I didn’t believe it would be all that dangerous. I treated that which was most obvious and hoped that which lied beneath would just go away. It destroyed my life, my marriage and my relationship with God.
Maybe you are there right now…you pretend like everything is fine…but it’s not:
- There’s no visible sign of sexual sin, but in your heart you have lustful thoughts for a co-worker.
- There’s no visible sign of an anger problem, but in your heart you have bitterness toward a family member.
- There’s no visible envy in your life, but in your heart you are so jealous of the life your sister has; or the wife your brother has; or the job your friend has.
- There are no visible forgiveness issues, but in you heart you resent your husband.
- There are no visible problems in your marriage, but in your heart you have left your spouse a thousand times.
The times in my life that I have felt the farthest from God and have compromised my values the most, are the times that I knew something lied beneath the surface and wasn’t committed to tear away all of the junk around my heart and get to the place where restoration could begin.