The real challenge in the Lord’s remodeling project is our stubborn resistance. I wasn’t very successful at making my young life work. But I just kept willfully pushing forward. During this time of self-reliance, even small accomplishments were immediately followed by regret or embarrassment, the insecurity that I should have done things differently. I was surely laboring “in vain” to “build the house” (Ps. 127:1).
Whenever my Christian believing suggested that I surrender to some kind of regeneration, I’d “prayerfully” determine what “I” thought needed remodeling and then ask the Lord for “his help” while “I” worked on my project. Then one day, after some particularly difficult and disastrous weeks, I surprised myself (and probably the Lord as well). I gave up. I was never going to regenerate myself into being more charitable and kind, and my heart reached out with the plea, “Please Lord, teach me to love.”
Well–katy bar the door–as the old saying goes. Apparently I was finally humble enough and sincere enough to open myself to the Lord’s renovation plans. Some “walls,” ones that I actually hoped to keep, are no longer there. And some “additions,” likely not even visible on the outside, have caused dramatic course changes in my heart. That’s why none of us can tell from the outside, and therefore shouldn’t judge, where another person is in Christ’s regeneration project.
What I do know is that the Lord walked in and freed my heart in a unique way. He revealed a more peaceful and more loving person there than I could ever have imagined. And the wonder of it is that Christ has this very individual, special kind of uniqueness planned for each of us. Are you ready for it?
Free my heart from bearing The things that bring me shame,
Regrets that keep me wakeful, More doubts than I dare name. (Living Calm 2016)