A couple weeks ago, my friend Nathan shared a C.S. Lewis quote in his sermon. I’ve heard so many things since then – whines, complaints, praises, prayers, songs, stories, commercials, and silence.
But I keep thinking about this quote:
“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 you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any 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 being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.”
When we had some guys renovating the kitchen at our old house, we were on vacation. (That’s a glimpse of our old house with its renovated kitchen above.) When the guys from Lowe’s install central heating and air along with new windows in that same old house, we were at work. We left town the weekend our bedroom in that old house was being dry-walled. We had walls painted and new flooring installed in the new-to-us house in which we currently live before we moved in.
I don’t like living among messy projects.
But, really, I do every day.
Nothing in my physical house is being renovated or restored or painted or perfected, but the essence of life is we are on a journey of growing and learning and teaching and serving.
We aren’t perfected yet. God isn’t done completing the work he’s begun (Philippians 1:6).
I can be in the midst of parenting, and God is teaching me about patience and grace. Cleaning my house is a reminder to serve others. Being with friends gives opportunities to speak truth and serve one another. Marriage is a sermon straight from the Maker on humility, grace, and unity.
And sometimes these lessons are messy.
God doesn’t require we clean up the dry wall dust or vacuum the crumbs. Formal attire certainly isn’t required. He’s coming into the middle of what we’re doing. He’s making us new moment by moment. He’s renovating our souls for his glory.
And, unlike my tendencies with big house projects, God wants us present as he’s working so we don’t miss the creation – which is bound to look nothing like we expect.
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