“Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you…For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.” (1 Corinthians 3:16-17)
Knocking down walls is never pretty.
During our renovation, the kitchen was ripped out and the new cabinets imagined, measured and ordered. The landscape of chipped tiles lost its battle to the relentless jack-hammer and slouched in earthquake-size rubble across the dilapidated living room. Dated wallpaper was stripped, aged mirrors suctioned off, and popcorn ceilings scraped and re-plastered smooth.
Before we could welcome anything fresh, the old and useless had to be dealt with, yanked out, carted away. In the near future, beauty would bloom in the very place the soil of old and ugly was bulldozed.
God tends his house no less carefully.
He tells us all through Scripture that he makes his home in us on earth. A passage like Ephesians 2:19-22 clarifies that truth: “So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.”
God’s work in us is often messy, too. Seasons of restoration and renovation in our lives might feel just like a jack-hammer’s assault. In the difficulties, when the hardships and topsy-turvy scenarios seems disjointed and unglued, it is natural to focus on the disarray. We must remember that God will use all of it for his great good, to bring about our own remarkable interior design.
He promises that “After you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you” (1 Peter 5:10).
The greater the work being done, the larger the mess appears. Let’s keep that perspective in mind when the clutter at our feet is blocking our view. Just around the corner, a little further down the way, he will ensure that beauty appears.
Especially when the present is simply too hard to bear.
Elizabeth A Mitchell
Photo Credit:Gary Yost on Unsplash