To begin to pray is to open a book with no end.
- Seraphim Sigrist
Yesterday I decided I was finally ready to tackle scraping the walls in the boys’ room.
As I took putty knife in hand I could feel a prayer forming: Lord, please don’t let this be as bad as I think. I pushed the prayer away; I’ve been trying to train my heart to be accepting instead of urging God to be accommodating. Lord, let me see what I need to see, I prayed, instead.
I went to work. It was bad. A 2'x2' hole quickly emerged; plaster literally crumbled at my feet, revealing the 1933-era lath beneath. Sighing, I paused. OK, Lord, I see it.
I was tempted to avoid poking at one side of the hole, which was near a corner. I sighed again. Lord, let me see what I need to see. I decided it was better to learn how to rebuild a corner than to leave hidden damage, and scraped a bit more. The plaster fell out to the edge, but not around to the other wall. I was deeply and genuinely thankful. Thank you, Lord, for a solid wall.
As I worked my way around the room, scraping a crack here (no major hole! Hurrah!) and another there (argh!) my fear of what I’d find gradually diminished. That was good, because when three large chunks fell off the fourth wall, I wasn’t discouraged. The room was a mess, but my heart wasn’t. Seeing what there was to see–no matter how ugly–was easier than being caught in the grip of fear. And seeing what there was to see made it possible to begin to do what was needed.
Lord, let me see what I need to see... even if it's what I fear, it's reality. And God can help me with whatever problem I need to face.
Julia Attaway is a freelance writer, homeschooler and mother of five. She is the editor of Daily Guideposts: Your First Year of Motherhood, a book of devotions for first-time moms. She lives in New York.