When we purchased our house back in 2017, we remodeled every square inch of the inside. The outside, however, has been a more drawn out process. Within the first year, I stepped down off the front deck and went all the way to the ground, through the top step. It had rotted underneath, and that day, it gave out. I replaced all of the steps but left the decks in place as they were.
Recently, I had the privilege of being able to replace the front deck boards and framing. A couple weeks before starting the project, Dallas put a heel through a deck board as we were heading out to church. I knew that there was some decay and a few really soft spots but most of it seemed okay. Obviously, what was seen from the surface was not the whole story.
Looking on the Inside
As my son, Cory, and I were pulling off the boards, we could see the extent of the decay. There were soft places in most of the boards. Some areas were almost completely rotten through.
I had hoped to keep some of the framing based on what I could see from the outside. But as we worked, we knew it wasn’t going to be long before the frame was completely disintegrated. So, we kept pulling more and more apart. The entire underside needed to be replaced.
Christians are normally really good at making it appear that we are stable and secure. Many of us have some soft spots in our life, places that look like they aren’t too bad, but underneath they are rotten. It takes some work to see, and it isn’t a fun experience to dig down to the root.
Going to the Roots
It is not enough to put a coat of paint on the surface and make things look good. If I had stained the deck boards when we bought the house, they would have looked good, but Dallas would have still put her heel through the board.
What we need is for the Lord to come in and take the rotten decayed places and replace them with new solid material. We are often our own worst enemy in this department. We don’t want anyone else to know what is on the inside. It’s uncomfortable to be exposed, especially with our weaknesses. Fear will often keep us from being vulnerable enough to get down to the bottom of our issues.
We need to dig up all of the roots of the problem for complete healing. Some of those roots may go way back to our childhood. Almost certainly, we will have some forgiveness work to do. When we complete the difficult work, we can walk in freedom. The strength of the new will be solid and firm, built on a foundation of Christ.
Maintaining the Integrity
In the spring, I will be staining the new deck boards. It will make it look better, but more importantly the stain will seal the wood and protect it from the causes of rot. In the future, the deck will need to be re-stained on a periodic basis to maintain the protection. This will keep the deck’s integrity intact for the decades to come.
We need to be putting protections in our life to defend against the elements of this world that lead to rot and decay. The armor of God is a great place to start (see Ephesians 6:10-18). It’s not a one-time event, rather something that we reapply regularly.
Another protection that we should consider having in our life is an accountability partner. Dallas is my best friend and confidante. However, I need a man that I can talk with and be accountable to in addition to my wife. Women also need to have another woman in their life that walks in a depth of relationship beyond mere friendship.
I encourage you to take a deep look at the inside of your life. Are there soft areas that need further investigation to determine if you have some rot developing? Do you have some hurts from the past that are still hanging out in the background? There is complete healing and freedom through Christ Jesus. Are you willing to do the work needed to walk in fullness of His purity and power?
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