A Picture of Jesus

You may recall that we have been remodeling our home for the past several months. My wonderful husband and I have decided to turn our townhome into our own piece of Colorado. The project began with the flooring. I found the perfect piece of high-quality laminate; we purchased and stored it until the rest of the remodeling was done. That plank went everywhere with me as we were making decisions about what to buy. Every home improvement store, every paint swatch, every countertop, backsplash, and cabinet was based on that piece of flooring. It is perfect.

We were rounding the final curve and headed to the finish line on our project! Finally, the time arrived to install the flooring, and we set about laying the underlayment and opening several cartons of flooring according to the directions. We have done this kind of job in the past, and we anticipated knocking out the whole thing between Friday and Saturday.

Let’s just say it didn’t go well.

It is in the “not going well” that I saw a picture of Jesus. No, His face wasn’t in the flooring design, but I saw Him in my sweet husband as I came unglued (no pun intended) and didn’t respond well at all to the circumstances we faced all day Friday as we struggled to get even 3 rows of planking to stay together. I confess I was angry, impatient, and just plain ugly as the frustration levels grew throughout the day. By 11:30 pm we managed to get 4 rows of planking sort of stuck together with wood glue and went to bed. In the morning, the light of day revealed how really terrible it looked. After consulting a flooring professional (who couldn’t get it to stay together either) it was determined the entire batch was defective. We loaded it all back in the SUV and drove to Kansas to return it.

As we drove along, I was thinking about my actions the day before. Where had all that sin come from? I expressed my sorrow to my husband, who had borne the brunt of my sin, and asked his forgiveness for my words and deeds. I lamented about my sinfulness, wondering how I can still be so…ugly inside. How can I know what I know, read my Bible consistently, pray all the time and still struggle so much with my flesh? But with every confession, every lamentation, every statement about what a rotten person and Christian I am, he had only one response: “I love you.” After a few I love you’s, I wanted to scream, “How can you?!” “Why would you?!”  My husband reminded me I am still a sinner, and a work in progress. He reminded me that while sinning is not okay, it changes nothing about how he loves me and cares for me. Seeing my struggles, he wants to make everything all right and to tell me there is grace for my fall. It doesn’t excuse my sin, but there is indeed grace for my sin.

And then the thought hit me: This is what Jesus does. Jesus responds this way. He loves me with an everlasting, irrevocable love that is not dependent on my “being good.”  When I confess my sin, when I agree that my behavior and the heart that produced it is horrible, Jesus says, “I love you. I care for you. I have made everything all right.” He also sees me wrestling with my flesh and is there to help me mortify it.

I am beyond thankful the Lord used this awful event to humble me and to reveal Himself to me once again. I am grateful for the godly man He’s given me, and how God used him to remind me of precious truths. There is grace for the fallen, there is love everlasting—from both Jesus and the husband He has given me.

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