"Cast me not off in the time of old age;
forsake me not when my strength faileth." --Psalm 71:9
My family has an old house on our property which no one has lived in for years. Several years ago, we stripped the siding and gave the house a fresh new coat of white paint.
Many frigid winters, hot summers, and strong winds have passed. We have had floods and droughts. Today, as you can see above, the house is once again in dire need of a new paint job. The wood siding is weathered and the paint is falling off.
To start with, we are all like wood with a fresh coat of paint. We are young and beautiful, full of hope, perhaps sophisticated. But then the wind of adversity starts blowing; it tests our true strength. Sometimes it seems the whole cruel world fights us, beating with indomitable waves and persistent raindrops. Time takes her toll. When the veneer wears off, what is left?
Only the interior wood is left, whether it is lovely or ugly. The siding above is an eye-sore without the paint, but some people work for hours to remove paint from oak trimmings in their homes.
God looks beyond the surface and see our hearts. We can hide bad character traits from others, but we can hide nothing from God. We will give an account for our lives before his Judgment Seat.
When youth is past, when we are old and gray, when our bodies are laid in the grave, after the winds have blown and the storms have beat upon us, what will be left?
Will we be ugly siding without paint, or will we be beautiful oak, finally breathing freely; transformed and set at liberty from our vessels of clay?