Thanks to Chip and Joanna Gaines we have all become acutely aware that our houses too are in need of new crown molding, shiplap, floors, paint, and all the Fixer Upper furniture and decor we can afford! We await eagerly each episode for JoJo to grin her sweet grin, pull those doors apart and ask "Are y'all ready to see your Fixer Upper?"! We delight in each finished product, don't we? So much creativity, design genius, and WORK!
C.S. Lewis, in his book Mere Christianity, asks his readers to "Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping leaks in the roof and so on: you knew THOSE jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently he starts knocking the house about in a way that HURTS abominably and does not seem to make sense. What on earth is He up to?.....".
The simple answer....God is at WORK! His work within us is never finished. It is at times confusing and brings pain. Oftentimes it partners with joy and creates something beautiful. But above all, it is a process. A process that we did not design. A process that we cannot finish alone. A process that we are asked to step in and experience rather than take over and execute.
I remember the first big home project my husband and I chose to do on our first home. The wood floors! I dreamed about those floors! Mostly I dreamed about getting rid of the carpet that I couldn't stand to look at anymore. I had to do a lot of research to convince my frugal husband that this was an investment and risk worth taking. Knowing the value it would add to our home was undeniable but yet the risk still remained.
It would cost something.
Our time, our resources, our comfort, our trust.....all of which were not easy to give up.
The night before the demo I could feel the anxiety building. I had never done a "big girl project" before and my mind was attacking me. What if they show up, rip all the floors out and then bail with our money? What if I chose the wrong color and when it's all finished it's just ugly? What if it costs more than what we had planned?
Our fears about surrendering to a process that we are not in control of are much the same.
Am I right?
What if I take THIS step with HIM and HE doesn't deliver?
What if when HE begins HIS work it's just too ugly and painful to look upon?
What if HE asks more of me than I'm ready to give?
GOOD questions. Questions that invite us into a relationship founded on that simple and complex word we will wrestle with for ages....FAITH!
"Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: FORGETTING WHAT IS BEHIND AND REACHING FORWARD TO WHAT LIES AHEAD, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." -Philippians 3:13-14
The walls will shake. The paint will crumble. The floor will give out below you.
Not to hurt you. To remake you. Ask those questions. Forget what is behind. Take a step forward today. Let the renovation begin!