I started painting our kitchen this week. If you wanted to know this little fact, there are a few telltale sign: The speckles of paint on my forearms and those persnickety spots on my elbows I never see when I’m washing up; The Cruella de Vil streaks of paint in my hair; The relative chaos of whichever room I happened to be painting; The recently rinsed-out brushes sitting on damp paper towels by the sink.
You can learn a lot when you start a painting project. You learn how quickly you can make decisions, like picking out paint colors. You learn the maximum amount of clutter your family can tolerate (i.e.-they don’t like the microwave to be moved to the living room). You learn how old you are based on how sore three days of rolling and brushing make you. And if you’re painting your kitchen cabinets, you learn that you have 19 cabinets doors to remove and lay all over the house so that you can paint three coats on both sides before replacing them using 76 tiny, tiny screws for the hinges.
But the most important thing I learn each time I tackle another room is how satisfying it is to slap on a new coat of paint. In the case of our kitchen, I have seen what had become a dull and dingy green haven for greasy finger prints and scuff marks transformed into something fresh and new.
It didn’t happen with a snap of my fingers. I put in some major elbow grease just to get rid of the actual grease that had accumulated on the cabinets. Then there was the primer coat, followed by two more coats. It was a lot of work but so worth it.
I love fresh, new beginnings. I love second chances. I love it when “The End” is not the end. And I love the Scriptures that celebrate this: “The old is gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17) “The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.” (Lamentations 3:22, 23)
As long as there is a tomorrow, there is a chance for something new. There is an opportunity for change and improvement. In the darkness, there is beauty to be found in the hope for a better morning.