I’m having a hard time concentrating. My husband is cutting out the fiberglass tub surround in the downstairs bathroom as I write (well, try to write), the rattle and rumble of the saw, loud and startling each time it starts and stops. Bouts of cracking and ripping follow the pauses. I’m afraid to go look.
This bathroom project was supposed to be a simple replacement of the damaged vanity countertop around a small sink. But then we noticed water damage near the baseboards and watermarks staining the walls. The project has since morphed into a new bathtub, new sheetrock, new tile, new sink, and let’s not forget the small original item, the little countertop. A full renovation. You notice one thing that needs fixing, and then another and another.
First, You Break It
Renovations always require us to break something apart, to go through a messy transition before we get to the beautiful finished product. It reminds me of something I read by C.S. Lewis years ago about imagining yourself as a living house and letting God in to renovate. At first, you’re fine with him fixing a few leaks and such, but when he starts knocking out walls, it hurts.
Why can’t he just stick to small stuff, little fixes that won’t cost us much? We’re functioning. The toilet still flushes. That should be good enough, right?
“Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?” 1 Corinthians 3:16.
Middle Of The Mess
We don’t always understand what God’s doing, why something needs to come down or be taken out of our lives. In the middle of the mess, it’s hard to picture how all this stuff could be used to form something new and beautiful. But our architect and builder knows what he’s doing. He knows what we can become. As C.S. Lewis says, God is transforming our little cottage into a palace where he can then live.
Seacoast’s 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting is a great time to ask God to help you renovate. It doesn’t matter if you missed the beginning days of the fast, it’s never too late to ask God to help you begin cleaning out those dark, junk-filled closets of past hurts, and to tear down walls and barriers that are blocking his light and limiting your space to grow.
Whose House Is It?
Sometimes I worry that God may get carried away and take me down to the studs. But I am choosing to trust him. Fasting is a physical way for me to try to empty myself of me, and invite God to fill the place instead. I’m praying for the fruit of the Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Those are a lot better than what’s in my house right now, so thinking of God bringing those with him, curbs my fear. I know it won’t be easy, but who wants to live a stunted life when God has so much more in mind?
What about you? What renovations is God making in your life? Which fruit of the Holy Spirit do you sense him specifically working to develop in you? Learn more about Seacoast’s 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting. You can watch online or join us at the Mount Pleasant campus Monday–Thursday at 6:00 AM and Saturdays at 8:00 AM for worship, a short word, and a time of individual and corporate prayer. Please check with your local campus to find out how you can participate. We also encourage you to follow along on social media for daily devotionals on Facebook and Instagram.