What’s Behind the Pretty?

This past Friday, October 23rd, marked 23 years living in the same house.  Les, Stacey, and I watched this house be constructed literally from the ground up.  We purchased a little over an acre in a tobacco field and hired a contractor.  This was huge for us.  It was where we planned to live for a long, long time.

Much has happened in our lives during the tenure here.  Stacey graduated from high school, undergrad, and law school.  We gained a son-in-law and eventually two grandchildren.  Les was heart-broken when he lost his career job after 30 years and had to start over.  Then a few years later, he was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer, succumbing to death 13 months later.

There are so many memories, some good and some not so good.

Now, almost 4 years after Les went to be with Jesus, I am in the process of selling this house.  It is time for me to downsize.

The house-selling process isn’t very easy.  I have, however, been extremely blessed to receive an offer so early in the process, as I live in a depressed real estate market.

Everyone tells me what a beautiful home I have.  It has been important for me to take care of it the best of my ability, but some things haven’t received as much attention as they should have since I’ve been alone.  It is simply overwhelming.

After the Offer to Purchase was worked out, an inspector came to check out the house from top to bottom.  As great as the house seemed, he discovered a hidden problem.  A majority of my windows have rotted.  Oh, they look fine from the outside, but inside, they are a mess!  The cost of repairing this problem is going to leave a mark on my profit from the sell.

As I’ve fretted this past week, I couldn’t help but think how much this reminds me of us sometimes.  We look perfectly fine on the outside, but the inside is a mess.  Jesus called the Pharisees “white-washed tombs.”  You know, pretty on the outside, yet full of rot on the inside.

We have gotten good at fooling the people around us, but God looks at our hearts, not our exterior. He sees the rot that lies right under the surface and His desire is for us to lay ourselves open before Him, allowing Him to “repair” the damage.

I wonder what “rot” you are hiding? What’s behind the pretty?  Is it jealousy or anger or sexual immorality or pride or covetousness or greed?  Perhaps it’s that you look like a Christian, but the truth is you’ve never repented and asked Jesus to enter your heart.  You know about church, but not about relationship.

Well, I have good news!!! Jesus came so that He might take your sinfulness (rot) and give you His righteousness.  He can take an ugly life and make it beautiful on the inside as well as the outside.  Why not let Him be Lord of your life?

You might be a born-again believer in Jesus Christ, but there is a secret sin you just haven’t released.  Won’t you confess that and let Him give you the joy of a pure life? Jesus is as close as a whisper of His name.

Lots of love, Sharon

PS:  Check out Hope Schaefer’s new book, “Hope Beyond Divorce” on Amazon.com.  Hope found herself facing divorce at the same time I was facing widowhood.  She has taken this tough blow and used it for God’s glory, sharing her journey through her blog at hopeschaefer.com.  This little book would be a great gift for those experiencing the difficulties of divorce.


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