NOTE: If you missed Chapters 1 through 6 of Building a Doll House, you can find it in the column under "blog archive" to the right.
As my husband I continued work on the doll house for our granddaughter, Joy, it became obvious that there would be some work involved. I have pictures to prove it!
Some of the work was tedious. Some seemed ridiculous. Sometimes there were multiple steps involved to get the final product. And sometimes, I simply had to wait. Yes, there was work involved.
Every piece of the dollhouse had to be put together, but only after being painted. Their suggestion was to use a sponge to apply the paint. It didn’t work. Instead, I used a faithful, proven friend. A small paintbrush and painted each piece.
For the windows, I practiced putting them together a few times with pieces flying all over, until I got the hang of it. Then glue was placed in the corners and a rubber band carefully drawn around the window frame. The windows came out perfect!
The house has not one, but two wrap around porches. There are railings along each porch and those railings had to be painted and glued together. Each spindle was painted, sanded, and then painted again before they could be glued into place. Thank goodness there was a template for this step!
The roof is covered with shingles. Before they could be placed on the roof, the shingles soaked in stain. Then they were spread out on a piece of cardboard to dry. Two or three times each day I had to “stir” the shingles to allow complete and uniform drying.
After waiting for the shingles to dry, the tedious process of gluing shingles on, one at a time, began. I learned quickly that I could only stand the slow process for short periods of time, so I would set a goal of at least finishing three rows of shingles before giving up. This took days. Actually I think it took a couple of weeks.
As I neared the last few rows, I counted shingles. I originally stained approximately 1,150 shingles. It wasn’t enough. I was going to be 3 shingles short! By checking at this point, I was able to “piece” together these few shingles from trimmed shingles and I placed them throughout the last few rows. It actually isn’t noticeable.
It’s no different with our spiritual lives. There are times that it just plain takes work. It may be tedious, involved, slow, and we may have to wait, but in the end, our lives are put together perfectly by the Creator.
I’ve memorized some Scripture this year. Some to prove that I could actually do it. Some for a Vacation Bible School skit I was involved with. But what I learned was that it is difficult for me. It is tedious work. I have to repeat it over and over. Write it over and over. But in the end, I know that those verses or passages are in my head and my heart.
And if that’s what it takes for me to memorize God’s Word, then yes, I must do it. Psalm 119:11 (NIV) reminds me of King David’s words. “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” Hiding Scripture in my heart keeps me on the right path. God’s path.
And if the memorizing of Scripture does not change me, then I might as well be memorizing a dictionary. God’s Word is active and living and when it gets into our hearts, it will require something of us.
Our spiritual journey will require us to take multiple steps to maturity. In 2 Peter 1:5-8 (NIV), Peter shares a progression to escape the corruption of the world and participate in the divine nature. “For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Yes it is involved. Yes there are multiple steps. But the end product is so worth it! Wouldn’t we each like to be effective? Productive? If the answer is yes, then these are the steps to take. Maybe it isn’t as difficult as you first thought.
Sometimes we wait. Wait for our hearts to be softened. Wait for our hearts to be broken. And when that happens, the Holy Spirit can work through us in wondrous, exciting ways.
The Spirit of Truth will counsel (John 14:16); remind us of all we’ve learned (John 14:26); guide us into all truth (John 16:13); help in our weakness (Romans 8:26); intercede for us when we don’t know what to pray (Romans 8:26-27); and encourage (Acts 9:31).
The accomplishments are limitless with God’s Spirit at work in us.
Even though the dollhouse was a large, looming task that required a great deal of work, in the end it was truly worth every moment spent on it.
It is the same with our spiritual journey. Perhaps it seems like you’ll never be able to reach the goal. Perhaps you’re wondering if God could ever love you because of your past (or even your present situation).
Just know that any effort on your part is overshadowed by the grace that God is willing to lavish upon you. Don’t underestimate all that God has in store for you and your life.
In the end, it is worth it all.
Grace and peace be yours in abundance,