Through the years as we pioneered a number of ministry centres, I have had the opportunity to oversee the restoring and renovating of various properties. If you think of old buildings that are in need of a lot of love and help, you'll get the idea. I also needed to fix up the various places that we called "home" through the years.
This isn't something I knew how to do, but it was something that needed to be done - and it often fell into my area of responsibility. I read, studied, asked people who knew about these things, and learned a lot. It was a challenge, an adventure, and an opportunity to stretch my faith in asking for God's help, guidance, and provision. I loved it! There were wonderful staff and volunteers who helped in accomplishing all this. It was fun to work with them in seeing God help us change the old to something new, lovely, and functional.
To this day, I enjoy reading magazines on renovation and decorating. I like the various television programs about this too. One of my favourites is "Fixer Upper." It's about a couple in Waco, Texas (Chip & Joanna Gaines) who take what they call "the worst house in the best neighbourhood" and turn what often looks like a disaster into something beautiful. The transformation is often nothing short of miraculous. The buildings I helped in fixing up never looked quite like that!!
When I have a few minutes of down time, I enjoy watching one of these episodes. They are so much fun and inspiring too! When I was watching one of them recently, it hit me - this is what God does with us. He takes whatever mess we have made of our lives and fixes us up! He tears out the old, the run down things, the things that are broken, the things that are a disaster - and He builds in the new. He completely renovates us into a reflection of Himself. It doesn't happen as quickly as things do on the television show. It may take years and years, a life time even. But He keeps working on us to make us a beautiful, unique creation of His design.
I feel like He's been doing a lot of work on me on this unexpected journey! He's been renovating every aspect of my heart and mind to help me learn and grow. It never stops. On this journey He's been "renovating" my heart to trust Him more deeply, to dig deeper foundations of hope, and to find beautiful treasures when things seem lacking. I'm so grateful for His designer's touch. He is continually creating in our lives. Knowing that gives me courage and confidence on hard days.
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come." 2 Corinthians 5:17
"Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland." Isaiah 43:18,19
"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all." 2 Corinthians 4:16,17
"Because of the Lord's great love, we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, 'The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him.' " Lamentations 3:22-24
"He has made everything beautiful in its time." Ecclesiastes 3:11
"I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh." Ezekiel 11:19
Sometimes with all the aches and pains and things falling apart in my body, it can feel like my "house" is falling apart. But God, the infinite "fixer upper" comes along and restores my inner being in wonderful ways that enable me to keep going. I couldn't make it without Him. He is an "ever-present help" at my side.