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The 19th century Scottish minister and author, George MacDonald, wrote a parable where we are to imagine ourself as a house. When we come to saving faith, God begins the remodel.
At first, we mostly understand what He is doing. You were aware there were some obvious “fixes” needed in some of the rooms. There was that stubborn drain in the bathroom and the leaking roof certainly needed His immediate attention. You were not surprised God busied Himself in those and other obvious places in need of repair.
But then He begins knocking around the house in ways you did not see coming; in ways that did not make sense to you. What on earth is God, the Zealous Contractor, up to?
The short of it is that He is building quite a different house from the one you envisioned. He is looking at a kitchen overhaul, knocking out a wall to extend the family room, a complete renovation of the backyard, and a host of other upgrades.
MacDonald’s point? You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage. But God has other plans. He is building a palace. He intends to live there Himself.
Home improvement shows are the craze. Chip and Joanna were a hit and now there are Chip and Joanna wannabees filling up the airways. Most have some form of “demo day”, where the sledgehammers come out and walls, cabinets, and other stuff come down. If walls could talk, they would say “ouch”. Renovations can be violent, especially homes in great disrepair.
And who needs an upgrade more than us? Fallen and sinful creatures that we are? Its “demo day” every day. Cosmetic fix-ups and a fresh coat of paint from God won’t do. We are talking about teardowns to the studs.
If God showed us His blueprints at the outset, we may have cancelled His project. “You are going to do what, God? I don’t think so. That sounds extreme. And not a lot of fun, either.” But I remind you, God is more interested in our holiness than He is our happiness.
Writing on this subject in “Mere Christianity”, CS Lewis reminds, “He will make the feeblest and filthiest of us into…a dazzling, radiant, immortal creature, pulsating all through with such energy and joy and wisdom and love as we cannot now imagine, a bright stainless mirror which reflects back to God perfectly (though of course, on a smaller scale) His own boundless power and delight and goodness. The process will be long and in parts very painful, but that is what we are in for. Nothing less.”
And at the end of the day, after all the sawing and nailing are over, we won’t be that dilapidated home anymore. We will be beyond a decent little cottage, too. We will be that promised palace. A residence better suited for our Contractor.
Pastor Rich Hamlin
February 25, 2021