So, here’s a fun fact about me. I [Melissa] love to watch home renovation shows. In fact, there are times when I find myself spending hours watching contractors and interior designers and homeowners wield their power tools and paint brushes to create a great room by removing and repositioning a series of walls that cut off the flow of the home or build a dream kitchen in the space that was once the garage.
My favorite episodes are the ones where a team walks into a home that is really not much to look at – the one that most people would actually walk right by and not even think twice about it. But after a little elbow grease and some chiseling away at the old crusty paint, they uncover something so incredibly beautiful that everyone wants what they originally thought was worthless.
I love that vision. I mean, wouldn’t you just love to have a team pull their truck up in front of your house and fix all those things that you’ve felt for years just aren’t right? It’s a weekly dream of mine.
But watching this week stirred up something completely different in me. I began to look closer at the whole renovation process and was in complete awe – the intentional steps to take something that appeared to have no purpose, no worth and make it new again, to give it immeasurable value.
And I couldn’t help but think of God and how the work that He does in us is so much the same.
Those of you who read Monday’s devotional may remember that I talked about appearances and how often I fall victim to the trap of judging and feeling judged based solely on how I, my kids or my home may look.
I also talked about the one time when I believe that it’s okay to be worried about appearances – when you are consumed with the appearance of your own heart and whether or not it’s portraying a true reflection of Jesus.
I’ve tried to be more attuned to my heart’s motives lately and, the truth is, I need some help.
I’m still finding myself hung up on what the moms at school are thinking about me as a parent when we pass by each other in the pick-up line, I’m still worried about what people who stop by my house are saying about the clutter on the coffee table, and I’m still stressing out that someone may remember that I wore the same sweater on Tuesday that I have on today!
My heart is not where I want it to be. I don’t think it’s where God wants it to be, either. And I‘m feeling the need for a … well, for a renovation.
And what I realized this week? The same process that I love watching so much for houses can be applied to my own heart.
A little elbow grease and some chiseling away of that old crusty stuff. Getting rid of the junk that is of this world and uncovering the parts that truly reflect a genuine love of God.
Because it’s all under there, just waiting to be uncovered. Just like it is in those houses I love so much.
God sees it and wants us to uncover it, too. In fact, He reminds us everyday with affirmations like:
We are God’s workmanship ... (Ephesians 2:10)
Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you? (1 Corinthians 3:16)
With truths like that, how could I not want to be the best version of myself?
We’re entering into the perfect season to take on a heart renovation. In just two weeks, Advent begins. It’s a season of anticipation and of preparation as we celebrate the arrival of the Greatest Gift ever given. It’s an opportunity for me (and all of us) to open our hearts to a deeper relationship with the Lord – to clear out all the junk that may be keeping us from giving our hearts to Him completely.
It may not be a process that can be edited down to a 30-minute highlights reel, but in the end it’s one that will reveal something more beautiful than you or I could ever imagine – that you and I are women with hearts after God!
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:10