I love old houses. There’s something about them that touches me. Maybe it’s because they’ve stood the test of time; maybe it’s all of life’s triumphs and tragedies combined with the echo of day-to-day existence that lingers in their rooms and hallways. Life happened there. Someone built that house with all of their family’s hopes and dreams poured into the very foundation. Personal battles were fought, hugs have been given, and love was shared.
We say an old house has character, and it’s almost always meant as a compliment. People marvel and say, “They just don’t make ‘em like that anymore.” Craftsmanship and individuality shine in old houses. Each one is as unique as the souls that occupied them.
Yet for every cool old house I see, there are just as many a poor old houses screaming out for a makeover. Maybe it’s the awkward, poorly planned addition that looks like it was tacked on as an afterthought, or the “modern” update that completely clashes with the original architecture. Whatever the reason, when I see that kind of place I can’t help but wonder why? Why would someone do that to a perfectly good house? Why would they ruin it that way?
It’s simple, really. It helped at the time. The owners weren’t thinking long term. They didn’t consult a general contractor or an architect. They just needed what they needed in the moment.
I think we’re a lot like those old houses. We start out new and shiny, full of hopes and dreams. We’re meant to become these beautiful, charactered people that house God’s spirit. But life comes along and we add on those awkward additions because it helped or if felt good in the moment. For some of us it may be an odd bathroom hiding in the back of the house, or at some points in life it may be we need a full overhaul, but we all have something within us that needs a little TLC.
Sit back for a moment and think of one area in your life that needs some renovation. Really bring this situation to the front of your mind. Now, imagine how your life would be different without this issue. How would you walk? How would you talk? How would you act? How would your schedule change? Your relationships? Your family? How would you feel about yourself? Would you carry yourself differently? Would you breath easier? Think of how you would feel with that area in your life different.
THAT is what God wants for you! That sense of freedom and joy, that sense of victory and empowerment are his dream, his vision for you. He wants to restore you in such a way that the internal changes glow externally. Better than any home you’ve seen restored on Extreme Home Makeover, God wants to build into you a little each day until, over time, people are blown away by the changes they see – in you!
Tired of your own awkward addition? In 1 Corinthians 3:10 it says, “Like a skilled architect and master builder, I laid a foundation based upon God’s grace given to me.” As a master builder, Jesus has every tool necessary to transform you! Did you know he sees you as his temple? (1 Cor. 3:16) It goes on to say, “As others build on the foundation (whether with gold, silver, gemstones, wood, hay, or straw), the quality of each person’s work will be revealed in time as it is tested by fire,” (1 Cor. 3:12). Begin asking God to show you how to get rid of the hay and straw in your life and start building with gold, silver and gemstones. He will make you shine.
For further thought: One of my favorite scriptures is Isaiah 61:1b-3:
“He has sent me to repair broken hearts, and to declare to those who are held captive and bound in prison, “Be free from your imprisonment!” He has sent me to announce the year of jubilee, the season of the Eternal’s favor: for our enemies it will be a day of God’s wrath; For those who mourn it will be a time of comfort. As for those who grieve over Zion, God has sent me to give them a beautiful crown in exchange for ashes, to anoint them with gladness instead of sorrow, to wrap them in victory, joy, and praise instead of depression and sadness. People will call them magnificent, like great towering treesstanding for what is right. They stand to the glory of the Eternal who planted them.” This week, may you be magnificent 🙂
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