You know those renovation shows that take fixer upper houses and completely redo them to make beautiful houses?
Well, if I’ve learned anything from them, it’s that renovations normally take longer than expected and they can be difficult.
Yep, renovations can reveal ugly things underneath the floorboards, unstable supports and poor wiring. Rarely do you see a beautiful new house undergoing renovation.
Now, I know we’d all like to think we’re the beautiful mansion that doesn’t need any additional work, but I doubt that’s the case. Because most of us — like King David, who wrote the Psalm below — mess up and realize we need some help.
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” — Psalm 51:10
I heard something the other day that completely stuck with me: Renew = Renovate.
Sometimes, we need to undergo some renovations — in the way we think, the way we act, the way we speak.
Because maybe while we’ve been busy living our lives, some mold has starting growing in the rafters of our minds and has contaminated our dreams and desires. Maybe some carpenter ants have been chewing away at our hearts and weakening our discretion and resolve. And so, it becomes time for a renewing, a renovation.
“And don’t be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…” — Romans 12:2a
As we know from most fixer upper renovations, that transformation and renovation process — and the waiting for the renovation to be done — can be painful.
But let me tell you a story.
On Tuesday, I made bread. Yep, homemade bread. I had to prove the yeast, which meant pouring it in warm water and waiting for it to become active. I had to knead, pound, press and mold the dough, constantly flipping it and disturbing it — all to prepare and develop the gluten.
After kneading the dough and placing it in a bowl, I had to wait for it to rise. An hour later, it was time for… more kneading! Punch. Press. Flip. Repeat.
Then, more waiting. Until finally! it was time to bake.
But baking, of course, requires extreme heat. Thirty-five minutes of sitting on a metal rack, waiting in uncomfortable, almost unbearable, heat.
Why did this loaf of bread endure all of that?
Well, without going through that entire process, the loaf of bread would still be individual ingredients, waiting to fulfill their purpose. It took the process of transformation in the creator’s hands to become something more.
The same applies to us when we submit to God’s will for us.
Yes, it can be uncomfortable. It might not go according to our plans. We might still be waiting for something. And every now and then, it feels like we’re getting punched in the gut, only to be thrown into scorching fire.
But Romans 12:2 doesn’t just speak of transformation and renewing without any purpose. No, it speaks of promise.
“And don’t be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you might prove what is the good, acceptable and perfect will of God.” — Romans 12:2
Just like I had to prove the yeast for it to become active, the waiting and change that comes with renovation will ultimately prove and activate God’s will for us.
And so, I’ll leave you with this reminder that has been a pretty good reminder for me: “Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust Him, and He will help you.” — Psalm 37:5