Sweetwater Presbyterian

Small in size, Big in Faith and Love

Devotion January 17, 2018


I have a friend, a guy.  Known him for a very long, long time.  He was a steadfast bachelor.  Declared he would always be a bachelor.  Wasn’t going to get tied down.  Didn’t want to be responsible to anyone.  Wasn’t any way he was ever going to get married.  Oh, he had girlfriends.  He dated, sometimes almost seriously but he was pretty up front with those he dated that he was never going to ‘get serious’ and it was never going to ‘amount to anything’.  
We talked and I assured him that he was pretty mistaken - that being in a relationship was not a hardship but a blessing.  He said I was just using trite words and he was probably right but I’ve been married almost 40 years so it is hard to describe marriage to someone who is perpetually single.  
He lived in a plain small house - a modular house.  No offense to the men out there but it looked like - especially from the outside - a house a single man would live in.  There were a couple untrimmed bushes by the front porch and a tree outside and a sidewalk to the graveled parking area.  Pretty plain.  He kept the grass cut and the little bit of string trimming that needed done was done sporadically…..
And then it happened - to him the unthinkable.  He met her.  Her being the one who was going to change his way of life; her who was going to soften that resolve to forever remain single; her that helped him to understand the joy of being in a long-term relationship with someone you cared about…. he fell in love.  He was smitten.  Gone was that adamant declaration that he was going to forever remain single.
What is kind of funny about all this is that he didn’t come out and tell me…. He didn’t really tell any of his friends because I am sure he knew we would taunt him - not that we weren’t happy for him but you have to tease him a little after all those years of “No one is ever going to get me…..” .  
How I realized what was going on was looking at his house.  All of a sudden I noticed that there was this beautiful border of mulch around the bushes in front of his house.  Then came a small, elegant little flower bed with one of those little garden flags in the middle.  Next thing I knew there was a border of flowers along the sidewalk from the front of the house to the parking area.  A pretty little bird feeder hung in the tree and a sturdy, but nice, bird bath was evident at the corner of the house - surrounded by some great hosta.  The front porch was swept, the mail box was painted and the bushes were trimmed.  
Yes, I know this is a sexist remark, but the front of his house now had a ‘woman’s touch’.  It was transformed from this plain and functional modular house on a plain and functional lot - to a nicely decorated and landscaped homey looking residence.  And it was then I knew - he had lost the battle with independence - but it was a battle well worth losing and he had a glow about him and the beautifully transformed front yard to prove it!
That is what God does with us.  We come to God these plain, independent, selfish people adamant about our dependence on no one.  And God just takes us and turns us around and and we become these beautifully transformed children of God!  Just like the front of my friends house, we become new and different; cleaned up and spruced up and as beautiful to God as a newly landscaped flower bed!  And when we are filled with God we become so changed that people around us just know that there is something different and wonderful.  
Now the big difference is that my friend is eventually going to very reluctantly, I’m sure, tell me about this new found girl-friend.  But when we are made new by God we want to shout it from the mountaintops - “Look what God has done for me!  I am a new creation.  The old me is gone and a new me has emerged!”   What a great work God can do!