This last year, my wife and I “flipped” our first house (remodeled a dwelling in order to resell it). Julia and I have always enjoyed Do-It-Yourself projects in our own home, and remodeling house was always a dream of ours. So naturally, when a foreclosure came up for sale behind us, we jumped at the opportunity! It was our first time doing anything this big, but it turned out better than we could have ever imagined. Flipping a house was great, but the greater still were the lessons God taught us all along the way. There are two lessons that kept coming to mind all throughout the project:
I. God is always in control.
If I had a dollar for every time I had to preach or tell myself that God was in control, I could have tripled the money we made on that house! Things were never as easy as I wanted them to be, things never worked out like I thought would, and people (myself included) never acted like I thought they should. The same is true in everyday life. No matter if you’re a pastor, a plumber, a stay-at-home mom, a banker or student, this is just a fact of life that can frustrate even the godliest of people. First, we have to remind ourselves that this is a result of the fallen world we live in. It will never be perfect until Christ comes back to reign. Secondly, there is hope in this fallen world because God is always in control and knows exactly what He is doing. It is also important to note that what He is doing is not always what you think or want Him to be doing, either. We didn’t always get our way and things didn’t always turn out like we thought they would; but no matter the situation, God always had a plan that involved giving Himself glory and involved us growing in Him (Romans 5:1-5).
II. The Christian life is a lot like remodeling a house.
Working on the house for long periods of time presented a space for me to be alone with my thoughts. One thought continued to surface in my mind was how much remodeling a nasty home is like God remodeling our nasty sinful hearts. There are two major steps to the process, as exemplified in Ephesians 4:22-23 and Colossians 3:9-10.
- The first step is to get rid of the old. The demolition was a long process that never really seemed to be completely finished, to be honest. We gutted that place all the way down to the studs so we could make room for the new. Ephesians 4:22-23 says we too need to put off our old self that is corrupt, so we can put on the new self that is a reflection of Jesus.
- After most of the demo was done, we slowly began the process of making things new again. It didn’t happen in 45 minutes like it does on TV. Instead, it took over 13 months from start to finish. God does the same thing as He produces change in our hearts and lives. Change is a life-long process and not a life event. It happens slowly over time. We are being changed by the constant renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2). At the same time, God is bringing different kinds of people, events, and lessons from His Word into your life–all so we can clothe ourselves in newness of life and better reflect the image of His Son Jesus!
It was one of the most stretching things I have ever done in my life, but it was also one of the most rewarding! If you ever have any questions or want to see more pictures of the house, feel free to contact me a firstname.lastname@example.org. Also we you can watch our TV episode on First Time Flippers, done by DIY network. It is titled “No Gutters, No Glory.” Just don’t believe everything you see on TV, that’s all I’ll say about that. 😊