I love home makeover shows. The more I watch them, the more I begin to see a characteristic theme emerge over time.
The scene usually goes something like this: the homeowners, desiring to update the look of their home, decide to knock down walls, install new bathrooms, or embark upon any number of other structural modifications. They have a budget that cannot be exceeded, and all modifications must fit into the budget. Yet to the frustration of the homeowners, the construction process often reveals problems, sometimes significant ones. Pipes are corroded, electrical systems are faulty, or the support beams for the outdoor deck are weak. Had these problems not been found, serious danger could have occurred.
The strangest part of the episode is that instead of being relieved and grateful that such dangers were discovered, the homeowners often become angry. They wanted beautiful cosmetic changes that would be externally visible, yet now a large chunk of their budget must go toward correcting hidden and unseen structural dangers.
Upon reflection, I realized how much these shows provide us with a striking metaphor of the “total home makeover” that the Spirit of God brings about in our lives as His children. As trials come into our lives that rip through the exterior and reveal the hidden person of the heart, dangerous and concerning things are often discovered. In the construction zone of sanctification, God is at work to expose the remaining pride, unbelief, idolatry, and selfishness that hinders us from increasing in our likeness to Christ and bringing glory to God. Sometimes we welcome the process, but sometimes, like the homeowners on the show, we wish that we didn’t have to see what was hidden underneath. After all, the revealing process can be painful, the renovation costly, and the reward not externally visible in the short run.
Yet in this process, God’s love is put on display as He does whatever is necessary to reveal to us the dangers in our souls. Jesus promised us in John 14:6 that He is preparing a place for us. And not only is He preparing a place for us, but also preparing us for that place! And until we join Him, He is at work in our hearts and lives, sometimes painfully so, for the end goal of His glory and our eternal happiness, not to mention His purposes in our trials in the lives of other people. And like an iceberg, the bulk of His purposes may remain hidden in darkness under the surface in our earthly lives, only to be revealed in glory.
So then, let us entrust ourselves to the Master Builder who mercifully reveals the dangers in our hearts, graciously forgives all our sin, and powerfully enables us to endure in the faith. The construction process can be painful, but our perfect and pure Savior will never forsake us, and will be faithful to lead us all the way home.
Thanks for those thoughts, Karrie. I enjoy those shows too…I just didn’t see the connection before, but it is truly there. And, the “rehab” process can be painful. So great that He stays with us through it all. Hang in there,..and I’ll do the same here.
Thank you, Gayle! Praying for you!
Thank you for this reminder Karrie. It is painful as the Lord works in our hearts and shows us our sins. I am so thankful that He is with us helping us to endure and always willing to forgive us. Keep writing because you have a beautiful gift! These are always filled with lessons and encouragement. I am so thankful that the Lord arranged our lives so that we could become friends.
Thank you Cheri! You are such a blessing to me!
Karrie, I appreciated your blog post, and it reminded me of one of my favorite quotes from C.S. Lewis (from Mere Christianity). Thought you might enjoy it:
“I find I must borrow yet another parable from George MacDonald. 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 the leaks in the roof and so on: you knew that those jobs needed doing and so 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 explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of—throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage, but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.”
Thank you for posting that quote, Betty!