Just found out that the espresso machine that I bought had been seriously neglected in its past life, but will be resurrected to it's original glorious self. We in fact should have it operating by next week's COMMUNITY gathering.
I can't help but make the inevitable comparison that you know is coming:
The espresso machine was in bad shape due to neglect. The boiler tank had corrosion on the outside (a symptom and sign of what was happening on the inside) caused by impure water, seals hadn't been replaced, electric modules had been "mickey moused" together with a wedge of sandpaper, and the internal pump's normal whirring sound had been reduced to a lowly hum.
On the outside however, it looked like the $5,000 piece of machinery that it once was.
The repair man took a look at the inside and commented that he wouldn't have even taken the boiler out of the trash can because of the damage done, but stated that in his skillfull hands he could make the machine like new. He didn't say that he would take care of the cosmetic problems only, and make the machine simply "look" like new, but said that he can make the machine that I bought for a fraction of the price of a new unit, function like new, and would even give me a year warranty.
Thinking about our skilled creator and physician who has promised to make all things new, I think about how often we ask God to take away things in our lives that only the symptoms of a larger problem. Think about the disservice I would have done if I would have asked Giovanni, the repair man, to only scrape away the scales and make the machine appear clean, we still would not have a machine that could do what it was made to do, (make espresso). And yet, so often we ask God to correct symptoms of a fallen world and fallen people, without asking or desiring for Him to truly make all things new.
May we all desire to be renewed from the inside out so that we can effectively do what we were created to do... Glorify God!