miracle makeovers

The streets of this older, inner city neighborhood are quiet as I walk them this morning, allowing me to breathe in the peace of the moment, that I might breathe out God’s presence over these streets, knowing it is not always calm that claims these streets. The houses that I pass as I walk are older, close together and run down or more truthfully, falling down in some cases. Most have front porches, a vestige of times past, when front porches were gathering places for neighbors to pass the time together.

Among these homes that are slowly decaying and those that bear the scars of years of deterioration, are homes that are in the process of being restored, rebuilt and rehabilitated. These houses are in various stages of repair, but the results are readily apparent and quite remarkable when viewed in the context of the houses that sit to either side of the house undergoing renovation. It’s as if one house is coming to life while the one next to it is slowly dying. Quite the contrast.

It’s interesting that home makeover shows on TV have been very popular in recent years. From just one, “This Old House” years ago (ahead of its time, I guess) to now with many such shows to choose from such as Chip and Joanna Gaines’ hugely popular “Fixer Upper” TV show, the idea of restoring old houses is now experiencing a revival of its own.

Today as I walked block after block in this neighborhood, I prayed along with the friend beside me, for these homes and the people inhabiting them. We prayed God’s blessing, protection and peace for the people living where we were walking today. We prayed for them God’s rescue, renewal and restoration in each and every life. The visual of rows of homes, side by side, all in various states of disrepair or of being repaired seemed so significant to me today.

Just like these homes, I am a work in progress. We all are. I am either deteriorating from lack of care or I am being renewed and restored daily by my Creator. The choice is mine. God is in the business of redemption and restoration. He has redeemed me and He wants to restore me to wholeness in Him. It is sometimes a long, slow process – but He will accomplish His good purposes in me if I cooperate. In fact, I have this assurance from Him in Philippians 1:6,

“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.”

I am receiving an ongoing, lifetime remodel. That’s what a work in progress is. Just like some of the houses I passed today, I am under construction. I am undergoing a transformation. I am the recipient of a miracle makeover. Romans 12:2 reminds me that this is so, telling me,

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of my mind.” This is an ongoing process,

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” (2 Corinthians 4:16-17)

I identify with those old houses undergoing renovation, restoration and rehabilitation. It looks painful. It is painful. It involves a lot of hard work. But it is worth the toil and the sacrifice in the end. The nearly finished house sitting right next to the one that is being torn apart so that it can be put back together, is a testament to this truth. The old house is torn down so that it can be resurrected as a new house. That’s what my Heavenly Father does for me everyday. He is continually renewing me.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

It occurs to me as I look at all these houses, each one, in the process of decay or of renewal, how important are those individuals who do the actual work. Who the builder is makes all the difference in the world. I need to know who it is that is at work in my life. Philippians 2:13 tells me,

“for it is God who works in you (me) to will and to act according to His good purpose.”

I can trust my contractor, renovator, restorer and redeemer. That’s a good thing because Psalm 127:1 reminds me that,

“Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain.”

And so we prayed today for the people in each and every house, on each and every block, where we witnessed deterioration and restoration going on simultaneously, side by side. God is in the restoration business. He wants to restore us and reconcile us to Himself. God is the One who, as Romans 4:17 says,

“the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were.”

God can revive, restore and renew the neighborhood, the houses and the people who live in those houses. He wants to give them new life in Him. He wants to do that for me and for you as well, dear readers. God wants to enter in and repair all the brokenness – much like what I saw today in the neighborhood, signs of brokenness being repaired. There is much work to do but God doesn’t give up on us. Thank You, Lord, that You are willing and able to give me and anyone who asks You, a miracle makeover.

“He has made everything beautiful in its time.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11) – even you and me!

sincerely, Grace Day

2 thoughts on “miracle makeovers

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