My wonderful mother- and father-in-law have decided to remodel their home this fall, hoping to be done before Christmas. They started making plans to put in a wood stove, and that quickly spread to replacing the worn carpet in the living and dining rooms, and having the ceiling textured.
Well, if you know anything about remodeling, you know that this means a lot of work.... first, the carpet has to be torn out. The furniture must all be moved and protected, and it has to stay that way until the mudding, sanding and painting is all done on the ceiling. This means couches, chairs, tables, and all of the beautiful decorations have to be stored somewhere, most of them in the middle of the rooms!
My mother-in-law has a beautiful house, and she really enjoys keeping it that way, so this renovation, while needed, will not be fun for her. All of this remodeling and ripping out got me thinking about the work that God does in our hearts when we invite him in.
As He works to make our hearts into a suitable home, He has to do some remodeling. More often then not, it is a big job. There are all sorts of ugly, dirty, broken-down places in our hearts that need to be fixed up, and Jesus is the perfect one for the job! The only one for the job, actually.
When it is time to start ripping out the old carpet, the ways of thinking and acting that are worn and ugly, it is painful. The dusty, bare beams of our selves are there for all to see. Those things that we once kept hidden under layers of varnish and paint are stripped down.
Walls come down, exposing whole rooms that we wanted to be hidden. Jesus leaves nothing untouched. If we are to be truly changed by Him, everything of the old house must be removed, all of the old ways have to go. The dusty rooms and closets that we kept hidden from the world, He comes into, ripping down the walls and letting the Light shine into our deepest secrets and fears.
Remodeling is never an easy job, and when it is a heart that is being transformed, it is especially agonizing. Those times when it seems like you are at your worst, when the things that you have been hiding are coming out- that is when you are being changed. Slowly, when the layers of grime come off and the beams of your heart are laying bare, you discover what God has seen all along.
He is like a master craftsman, who can look at the ugliest home and see not what is on the outside, the dirty walls and bare carpet, but instead He sees what you could be. God does not look at us and see what the world around us sees- the angry words, the ugly frowns and walled- up soul- He looks at us and sees what He made us to be.
Remember in those times when it is the most painful, that God is creating a truly amazing masterpiece- taking a broken-down sinner and making her into a beautiful home for a King. Jesus said His yolk is easy and His burden is light. Rest in Him and He will carry you, and He will make you into the wonderful creation He always wanted you to be.