Sunday, September 21, 2014
I arrived at Home Depot armed with a list of about ten different colors in several paint brands. I had notes that I had diligently copied from websites and Pinterest. Colors with names like Agreeable Gray, Balboa Mist, Mineral, Edgecomb Gray, Woodrow Wilson Putty, Gallery Buff, and Sandy Hook. I could picture the color in my imagination. The question was, could I find it among the paint displays. Slowly I searched, pausing over likely colors. I checked my list. I lay paint chips across the gleaming stainless steel counter. I held each chip up to a white piece of trim to check out the contrast. Pat stopped in now and then to check my progress. Finally, I settled on Martha Stewart’s Bedford Gray. The very color that Martha Stewart has in her own kitchen!
The bottom of the walls in our kitchen/family room are white beadboard. The top of the walls had been freshly sheet rocked, puttied, and sanded. Pat and I were excited to see the gray sheetrock covered by my beautiful new perfect color. The big moment had arrived. The paint included the primer, so it wasn’t necessary to prime the wall first. I poured the paint into the tray. I had great expectations for this color. Holding my breath, I rolled the paint onto the wall, and it promptly blended right in to the gray color of the sheetrock!
Feeling more than a little disappointed in my color choice, I nevertheless rolled it up on the wall. It was hard to tell where I had been, because wet, Bedford Gray really is the color of sheetrock. Pat shook his head each time he walked through the room. Patty came home from work, sat in the kitchen where the paint smell lingered in the air and thought I had repainted the trim, while she was looking at my freshly painted walls.
But fortunately for me, paint dries darker than it looks wet. The Bedford Gray dried overnight to a really wonderful warm gray that met all of my expectations. Pat is even pleased with the color. Martha Stewart really does know her way around a kitchen.
It helps me to shed these unrealistic expectations when I read what the prophet Micah wrote.
He has showed you O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God ~Micah 6:8
Not a long list. Love mercy. Be just. And walk in a humble relationship with God. Walking in a relationship with God, is not a matter of performance. It’s a matter of love. God loves us, even when we mess up. Even when others think, “I wouldn’t have picked that one.” God does not accept you after you become good enough, He loves you just as you are.
God’s expectations are perfect because He knows us perfectly and loves us completely. He knows exactly what we are, and are not, capable of.
Do not be afraid, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. You are precious in my eyes, because you are honored and I love you…the mountains may depart, the hills be shaken, but my love for you will never leave you and my covenant of peace with you will never be shaken. ~Isaiah 43:1,4; 54:10
Our worth and value are not in our possessions, talents, esteem, income, or reputation. We are His Beloved, and that is expectation enough.