"He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible,whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities - all things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. And He is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the first-born from among the dead, that in everything He might be pre-eminent. For in Him all the fulness of God dwells, and through Him to reconcile all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of His cross". Colossians 1:15-20.
I've never been much good at DIY, which becomes something of a problem when trying to maintain your own home on a tight budget.
Back in March, severe gales took down most of my garden fencing, and whilst I managed to cover purchasing the panels, the work was going to have to be done principally by yours truly. Well, I took it one step at a time, wood preserving the new panels first before then removing all the old debris (the decayed fencing) and finally fitting the new. The whole experience taught me some valuable lessons - good preparation works, and (as Scotty on Star Trek would say) employing the right tools to do the job really helps to get the right result, meaning that after a couple of weeks of work, the panels were replaced and actually looking good.... something that would have probably shocked my old woodwork teacher.
Over the summer, I've been taking a series of studies on what Paul terms 'the mysteries' of our faith - The 'Grand Miracle' (Lewis) of the Incarnation, the amazing work of regeneration, the love that is made ours in Adoption and the surety of that love in the scope of Salvation (finishing things off with the hope of the new creation). Like my home repair experience, it's reminded me that faith and life can only be done well when we fully understand what's involved and how to apply that now.
Paul's words in Colossians clarify who our God and Savior is - one who is truly supreme, but who rules entirely by love, abundantly outpouring mercy upon us and the world He not only made, but came and gave Himself up for as a man and in death on a cross. It is so encouraging to know that the one who is King and Lord of all is the one who is fully aquatinted with all our sufferings, our weaknesses and our needs, and that these do not need to alienate us from God, but just help us to draw near and ask for His help in our time of need.
He is the one who not only made all things, but He also makes all things new.
Life can often show us that there's much more to learn and understand, but also that there's many things we constantly need to be reminded about, the key one being the love of God given to us in Jesus Christ.
My success in the garden has encouraged me to pick up a paint brush again and take steps to yet more repairs in the month ahead. May we grow in the richness of God's life through the care and grace bestowed in our friend and Saviour, Jesus.