WEEK THREE: RENOVATION
Romans 6:3-5 (NRSV)
Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.
Today is our last day of renovation. Of the many renovation shows on television, Jim and I also like to watch, “Texas Flip and Move” occasionally. During each episode, renovators buy houses to move to a new location and restore for sale. More often than not, these homes are in such bad shape, or the layout is so impractical, that the renovators decide to take the houses down to the studs and basically rebuild from there. Of course, this takes much more work, but the end result is a new, practical, solid, efficient and lovely home! The house has been given new life, recreated in the vision and design of its renovator.
You know where this is going. Sometimes life takes us down to the studs, doesn’t it? We become undone, completely spent, feeling as if we have nothing left. Any number of events can do this to us. Poor decisions. Illness. Accident. Natural disaster. Broken relationships. Loss of career. Financial difficulty. Theft. Addiction. Unfulfilled dreams or promises. Sinful ways. We hit rock bottom… and no one wants to be there.
Eventually we come to understand, “Well, I guess there isn’t any choice except to rebuild from here.” And THIS becomes the magnificent moment when God can really go to work! There are no obstacles that God needs to work around, adapt to, make fit, or remove. God has been given a cleared floorplan and the freedom to create as only God can.
Knowing God as our rebuilder gives us new perspective for all of life. This passage from Romans provides the hope and the comfort we need to endure our rock bottom times. When we die to ourselves in our baptism, we are taken down to the studs. Our lives are no longer ours. But what comes next? We “are cleared” to receive so much more. We walk in newness of life! And this new life is even better than the one we had- or even imagined. So it is with all of the losses we have in this life. We are always rebuilt into a lovelier, more usable creation of our perfect designer’s vision.
What has been your most difficult time of life? Have you ever felt you have been taken down to the studs? How did you recover? Have you recovered?
If you could start your life completely over, would it look any different? How might you offer this to God? Can rebuilding your new life begin today?
What do you need to clear out in order to gain something new?
God our Re-builder,
You make good come from everything. Thank you for your wondrous love! Thank you that through Jesus, we know you share in our heartaches and trials. You only work to restore and rebuild. Help us to use our trials as a clearing time for you to work more freely and perfectly in us! Amen.