By Jody Bennett
I have been watching interior design shows on Netflix recently. I'm inspired by the creativity and cleverness of those who take nice but ordinary rooms and turn them into works of art.
What I have noticed though is that, without fail, those rooms always look worse before they look better. The day before the big reveal, you couldn't possibly imagine how it is all going to come together.
A perfectly serviceable room is first stripped, gutted and turned into a work site before it gets new colour, new floors and, finally – usually at the last possible moment – is 'dressed' with fancy objects and beautiful pieces.
I imagine the same is true for garden makeovers, or house 'reno' shows like 'The Block'. Before things get better they get much, much worse.
So it shouldn't really surprise us that when we give our lives over to God to remake that He doesn't just move the furniture about or put a patch on, He sometimes has to gut the whole thing first. We may lose friends, even our intimate other. We may find our habits and hangouts, our language and our dress sense has to change. Some people may need to have hateful tattoos removed, change jobs or delete accounts and online subscriptions. It can be very scary and messy.
In one of the episodes I watched, when they pulled out the kitchen cabinets, they found a whole lot of rot and rising damp – coming to Christ may expose sins in our lives that we had carefully hidden or lived in blissful ignorance of. But, like the rising damp, they need to be revealed, scrapped away and treated before a new coat of paint can go on, or they will undermine the very foundations of our new faith.
Fortunately, God doesn't generally remake our lives in three days! It takes all our time on earth to be reshaped into the image of His Son and He is gentle about doing it in sections we can (almost) handle. However, some of those changes can be very uncomfortable and challenging.
In one episode of the design show I watched, the homeowner kept second guessing the designer and wanting things toned down, but in the end when she stepped back and trusted the designer, the end result was stunning.
New Christians also have to trust the Great Designer. God's plan for our lives may seem radical and very different from what we wanted when we first gave our lives to Him, but He has the blueprint and the vision, and we have to trust the Expert to do what He does best.
As God says in the Bible "'For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,' declares the Lord. 'As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.'" (Isaiah 55:8-9)
So if your life seems a bit chaotic or looks like a bomb has hit it at this point, take heart! If you have handed it over to God, there is no mistake. There is a mood board, a plan, a grand design and He has it all in hand. Trust Him and relax while He brings about radical transformation.
The big reveal is just around the corner!•