The Father's Renovations
By: Kristen L. McNulty
For the last few months I've been living in the midst of renovations. First a few months of renos at our current place to fix it up to sell, then at the new house to get it ready to move in. And as wonderful as renos look when they are completed, there's a very scary and often discouraging stage that comes with renovations. That is the gutting stage. Your home might not have won any design awards, but it was yours and it was comfortable. But when gutting happens, everything familiar disappears and you're suddenly looking at the guts of your home. And there's a reason we cover up the guts of a house, the packed insulation, the wires in the walls, the plumbing the snakes in and out of most rooms, it's not pretty. As you stare at the guts of a home and see the path of destruction around you, the pieces of gyp rock on the floor, the wires sticking out of the walls, the insulation bursting out from between the 2 by 4's, it's very easy to forget what your home once looked like and it's nearly impossible to imagine what it could be.
The same is true for the renovations that God does in our hearts and minds.
When we come to saving faith in Jesus, we come as we are, disasters and all. And God may love us that way, but in His love and knowing what's best for us, He doesn't leave us that way. As we get to know Him, He starts the renos on our hearts and as He removes the pretenses we built around us to cover who we really are, it's often not a pretty picture. At least in the way we see it. But where all we can see is the gut job and all it exposes, God sees beauty as He begins to form us and shape us in a way only He can. He heals the open wounds we carry (Psalm 147:3), He refines the best of us to further reveal the best of Him (1 Peter 1:6-7), and He turns a the page into a new chapter in our stories of redemption (Titus 2:14, Eph. 1:7, Isaiah 44:22). He might tear down the walls we built, but He replaces it with something so much better as He covers our shortcomings with His endless supply of grace.
It might be messy, but we need to trust God with the process. Just like I choose to trust my contractor rather than fire him when I walked in one day to see much of our home demolished, we need to trust God and let Him do His work in our lives. Knowing that even when we can't see it, He is shaping and molding us into a beautiful creation that He holds the blueprints for. So let's choose to trust that He knows best and let Him do His renovations in our lives. And in the moments we begin to doubt, let us remember the words of Isaiah 64:8: "And yet, O Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay, and you are the potter. We are all formed by Your hand."
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