Ministry Resources

Ministry Resources
Ministry Resources

Putting in the Elbow Grease

“Where are you going in such a hurry?” My husband asked with a puzzled look on his face.

“Lowes…to get paint.  I’m repainting the bathroom tonight,” I said with determination.

“You’re going to paint the entire bathroom tonight?”

He obviously didn’t see what a crafty mood I was in. This non-DIY girl was looking to change her ways and spruce up some things around the house.  We had been talking about repainting our bathroom for months.  Ever since we had moved into our new home, the original color we picked, well…it just didn’t fit.  I left the store paint and brushes in tow; ready to give a facelift to my drab bathroom walls.

I primed and painted…and painted…and painted.  Ugh.  Hours passed by and I felt like I hadn’t even made a dent.  I had started off so strong and with such determination to finish this project in one evening.  I wanted to wake up to a whole new bathroom in the morning and that dream was slowly fading away.

“Turned out to be more than you could handle?” My husband asked peaking in from the doorway.

Boy did it ever.  I guess I didn’t take into account the time it would take to carefully paint all the crevices and make sure there were no paint streaks; let alone the time it takes painting around the trim.  I just wanted the fast result of a new improved room.

I’m often guilty of doing this same thing with my faith and maybe you are too.  I want a fast result without really having to put the hard work in.   You know the elbow grease as we say.

What do I do about this situation Lord?

I’m tired of waiting Lord.  I’ll just take matters into my own hands. 

What have you called me to do with my life God?

That sounds like too much work.  What about ____ (fill in the bank) instead?

Show me your will Lord.

But really only if it matches up to my own plan. 

Any of these sound familiar?  How many of us are reading books about the Bible and its promises to us, but we aren’t actually going to the source?  Skimming over scripture but not taking the time to memorize it or understand the context of it?

We want the result of a faithful, trusting relationship with God but we don’t want to actually put the work in to get it there. 

I know this isn’t the easiest conversation to have with ourselves (believe me I know) but it’s a necessary one.  The truth is that if we truly want and desire that kind of relationship with God we’re going to have to go deeper and we can’t just bypass the crevices, or hard stuff.  We’re going to have to put the work in.

I overestimated my project and thought I could just slap some paint on the walls and have a whole new bathroom.  And you know, sometimes that works.

But that’s not how our faith works.  That’s not how our relationship with God is supposed to work.

We can’t expect our marriages or finances or situations to change if we don’t put the work in, if we don’t dig deep with God.

So what does digging deep with God even look like?

Well it may look different for each one of us.  For me in this season of life it means reading His word every day, marking scripture and memorizing it, facing fears and learning to die to myself and live for Christ.  If I want to hear from God I have to leave myself open to really hearing Him and not just what I want to hear.

When I’m reading scripture I can’t twist it to mean something it doesn’t just because I want it to mean something warm and fuzzy or different.  I need to seek God and find out what it is He wants me to receive from His word.

For you, it may be something totally different.  Maybe memorizing scripture isn’t where you need to put the work in right now.  Maybe it’s your marriage, your children, your job, friendships; it could be a number of things.

We can’t be scared to discover this deeper relationship with God.  Sometimes we can be hesitant of this because it means we’ll have to do things we are afraid of, face past hurts, or we think it will be too much work on us.

But you know what?  It should be a lot of work.  Jesus died for me, for you, for us all.  That alone should leave me pining for a deeper relationship with Him.  I shouldn’t have a just slap some paint on the walls relationship with Jesus.

Are you in this place today too?  Are you wanting a fast result with your faith but aren’t really willing to put the work in?  If this is something you’re struggling with, leave a comment and let’s talk about how we can be an encouragement to one another.

You know, there are times when the sun hits the top of my bathroom walls at just the right angle and I can still see parts of the wall I missed while painting that night.  I don’t want the same thing to be true of my relationship with God.  I want to go through every crevice with Him.  I can guarantee the reward will far exceed a new bathroom look.


  1. I really enjoyed this post. I feel like lately I have been avoiding the hard work with my relationship with God.

  2. Thanks so much. I'm with you friend.


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