Psalm 139:14 NLT
‘Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.’
Steve and I are in the process of renovating our house and it has been a long process and right now the current project is our kitchen. This is no simple DIY paint job. This is literally tearing out the heart of my house and replacing it with a new one: stripping the plaster off the walls, ripping out the pantry and demolishing two walls, making room and space for our family to function better and create not just a beautiful kitchen but a better functional home. What’s funny is seeing how differently Steve and I have approached this project. I tend to think that before you rip out a wall you should clear the kitchen and systematically pack everything away and that process also requires a very intricate system of decluttering. As you go you have a box for the op shop and a box for rubbish and a box of stuff you need in the temporary kitchen and then everything else. You can imagine that this intricate process is slow going and would take about a decade to complete if you were as indecisive as me. Steve on the other hand has a very different approach and in hind sight I must admit if he had waited for me to follow through with my system it would have been a very slow and drawn out process. Steve on the other hand began ripping out walls before I had packed my second box and I was still making a decision on how many tea towels I would need before packing them away.
As much as I prefer my system, Steve’s approach gets the job done and the process moving and I have to admit that my preference in this situation is to let him do it his way because I want the outcome more that my own way. Sometimes our approach to issues of the heart can be like a renovation project. There are some rooms in our heart that are functioning like an out of date dysfunctional kitchen. We can survive fine with it like it is but when did God ever have intentions for your heart to to be just fine and just surviving. God has more for us than that. He has fabulous creative designs in mind for our lives and he wants to enlarge our heart for a blessed life. we can even agree with his new design plans and intentions for our lives but God intentions for us are for the here and now not when we are ready. When we give God permission to do a renovation project our heart, be prepared for him to rip the walls out before you have had the chance to negotiate how the process is going to work. He wants to bless our socks off but if he had to wait for us the blessing would never come. In my home right now, as challenging as it is, living in chaos, I know that the outcome will be worth the craziness, Sometimes in the midst of the chaos of a heart renovation, we get miffed about the process and lose site of the outcome…God’s intentions as he renovates your heart is a truly blessed and thriving life and the reason and even the fact that we gave God the permission to demolish some walls and rip out the old in order that we could experience something new and incredible.
How do you approach a renovation of the heart. Some of you have been so frustrated with the process, or the process has been too painful and you have asked the renovator to stop because you can’t take any more but now you have a half finished renovation project that you have no idea how to finish. Let him finish the work he started. He promised that he would complete that work. The final outcome will be a reflection of the creator, a reflection of the architect and the builder: Magnificent and something that brings honour and glory to the creator and architect of your life. It will reflect his love, his care, his creativity, his strength, his wisdom and his power, his ability, his insight, his knowledge.
Sometimes God’s favour requires a full scale renovation before we can truly experience the joy of his favour. This is not an easy process but when you know His heart is to bless you and not harm, when you know he knows what wall must stay and which ones must go, you can let him do it his way. I love that I know Steve’s intentions are not to frustrate me or annoy me but to bless me and our family with something better than what we have. His promise of a great kitchen must allow for my life to be ruffled and my plans to be shaken up.
When this process is finished and my kids are sitting up at the bench doing homework, while I wash the dishes in my new ceramic sink, I hope I remember what He taught me about the process of Favour as much about living in it. I will feel the gratitude of a heart that had allowed someone else’s process to bring Favour and blessing to my life.
Philippians 1:6 (NIV)
‘being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.’
Ephesians 2:10(New Living Translation)
‘For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.’