Construction Zone: Remodeling

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV

Remodeling.

A word that strikes fear and dread in many.

The closest I’ve ever come to remodeling was having our deck replaced. The constant pounding and sawing outside my kitchen window was overwhelming, but at least it wasn’t sawdust and noise and workers inside my house every day. Nevertheless I chose escape. I loaded up my writing work each morning for weeks and headed off to my other office: Panera Bread. After nearly a month my deck was finished, I’d gotten my writing project completed, and I had a new family, my Panera family. Love you Nola, Tyler, Taylor and Debbie!

God is constantly remodeling our lives. From the moment we turn to Him as our Savior, He actually starts rescuing and remaking us. Rescuing us from our selfish sinful nature and remaking our inner woman. As with physical remodeling, this spiritual remodeling is time-consuming and painful. It is ongoing throughout our life. It can be a process from which we wish to escape. But if we stick with Him and trust Him we will find a brand new us in the end.

Tearing out old sins and habits takes time and effort. Patching up the wounds and hurts from the past is necessary. Finding the faulty wiring built on old lies is crucial. Our Father does this process over time for the health of our spiritual and emotional lives. He digs in places where we would rather not have Him dig. He cleans out closets of things we would rather not turn loose of. We are sometimes left feeling stripped bare of the paint and cosmetic trappings the we have hidden behind for so long.

So how do we embrace this constant remodeling throughout our lives without seeking escape?

  1. Accept that this remodeling will come from time to time throughout your life.
  2. Remind yourself that you have the Master Architect working on you.
  3. Trust that He loves and adores you, and that is why He has chosen to update and improve the rotten, warped, and worn out places in your heart and soul.
  4. He is remaking us for His glory and for our good. We may not like going through the process, but we will love the renovation when it’s over. We will see that it really was for our good, and we will be thankful for the improvements.

As you face struggles this week that seem to tear out those old timbers, be grateful that he is remaking you into a beautiful structure for His glory! Pray and seek His face when you don’t understand. Stay in His Word. And most of all, Trust Him.

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He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” Revelation 21:5

Choose Joy!

Choose

I Peter 1:8 “Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory.”

Today I’m choosing joy. Again… Because it’s another hard day. Just like he did that day two weeks ago, the Holy Spirit reminded me to choose joy.

Mom was in the hospital and not herself at all. It had been a very long and lonely several days with me as her primary caregiver outside of hospital staff. I was exhausted, concerned, and ready to go home to my bed. Mom looked at me in her semi-aware state and told me I just looked mad. I guess that’s the message my countenance was showing. I wasn’t mad at all and told her I was just really tired. But the fact that she thought she saw that on my face really bothered me and I began to ponder and pray.

The next morning as I was getting ready for the day, the Lord spoke directly to my heart and said, “Choose joy.” Well, that snapped me right out of the stupor I was in! When the Spirit speaks like that, you listen.

cheerful-close-up-coffee-208165He reminded me of the devotional I was reading, “One Thousand Gifts” and of the list of thanksgiving that I had begun to write. Remember the song? “Count your many blessings, name them one by one…”

He reminded me of the prayers of many being lifted for the hard time we were going through. Oh, how they sustained me!

He reminded me that the missing family who were usually there to help were on mission trips in various places around the world serving Him. I was not alone. This didn’t catch him by surprise.

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33          He reminded me that in this world I would have troubles.  Do you know that in John 15:11, just one chapter prior, that the word talks about our joy being full and in John 16:24 it is mentioned again? Full joy in the midst or in spite of tribulation and suffering! In those chapters, we are told to abide in Christ and that the Helper is with us. (John 16:20)

I chose joy that day as I laughed at funny videos and photos of my grandson with Mom. I chose joy as I watched her smile and talk to him on Facetime. At times he was the only one that she recognized and he brought her such happiness in those moments.

I chose joy that day when the Lord reminded me of Revelation 21:5. And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” He also says, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” I do trust Him! My mom’s body that is often full of pain will be made new. And she will rejoice with the one who will make her whole again. The one she calls to over and over to help her. The one she has trusted and believed for so long. The one who sustains her in the darkest moments.

Revelation 21:3 “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

Joy…My faith rests in Jesus alone and in the Helper’s abiding presence in my life. I’m clinging to the fact that one day we will finally be in God’s presence and all things will be made new. I’m trusting those trustworthy and true words.

I’ll need to be reminded again, I’m sure. For today I’m good and my joy is full.

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