Everybody loves a good fixer upper story. The cultural obsession with Chip and Joanna shows us how much we love a successful renovation. We love to see the before and after, the way old can be renewed. Homes, rooms, hearts, all need a renovation every once in a while.
I entered into this new season of a different job expecting a lot of changes, but unaware of the complete renovation my life would face. And we know, a renovation most of the time is not a bad thing – in fact, it is probably necessary. We see in interior design the way we can get stuck with old decorations, wall colors, furniture set-ups. We get comfortable with the way things are. But sometimes we need a shake-up! Which, of course, is very fun to watch when it is some random person’s home on HGTV. When it is our own lives and hearts, it is often more painful and uncomfortable than we would like.
Renovation in our lives isn’t just a benefit or unintended consequence of following Christ, it is an absolute guarantee. It is a necessity. If we are seeking Christlikeness in our lives, we really should not even be surprised by it. Of course we would need a complete overhaul.
Not that everything about us is bad (I mean, some would say that. I, personally, would not). I believe we are made good because that is the first thing God ever spoke over us, and the ultimate ending He has for us. If we are ever going to be good, don’t we have to have goodness in us to begin with? Garbage will always be garbage. But gold covered in dirt can be cleaned; can be renovated, if you will, to its intended beauty. We are gold.
The world around us is in the same situation. Made for good. Polluted by sin. Brokenness is a reality we live with, a horrible byproduct of the sin that is really, really real. But it can be renovated. I heard someone recently say that they had an atheist friend who “was all about the environment.” I’m pretty sure God is all about the environment, too. I’m pretty certain He is all about making this earth just like Heaven – isn’t that what Jesus prayed for? We are part of the renovation. We are part of returning earth to what it was intended to be, the same way we are being renovated to look more like Christ. This is not political, it is just the way it is.
There is no room for denying our brokenness, we just don’t even have time for that. But we cannot be obsessed with it, we have to move on. We have to allow Holy Spirit to do the work of renovation in us. It hurts, it sucks sometimes, but it makes us better. It makes us more like Him. I don’t know about you, but I love who Jesus is so much, I want to be more like Him. I want my heart to be like His, I want my life to look like His, I want to see the world the way He does. To live believing He can’t make us into anything good is to waste our lives. We have to be willing to be renovated, to be remade, to live as we were meant to live.
To renovate literally means to return something to good condition. Even those houses you see on fixer-upper style shows at one point were in good condition; even the ones with shag carpets and weird wallpaper.
I love “re-“ words – redeem, refresh, resurrect, etc. They imply a newness and a fresh start. They bring beauty. They are all things that Jesus does in our lives. In this season He has shown me the old, ugly, in-need-of-renovation parts of my heart. It has been hard but beautiful, as we know, that all things are.
Isaiah 61:4-5 says, “They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations.”
What in your life needs a renovation? Where is God changing your heart to look more like His? What part are you playing in the renovation of the world?