The Value of Destruction by Larry W Peebles July 15, 2016 16.26
What was eventually going to be such a beautiful home kitchen remodel project started out with very dusty, devastating demolition. Cabinets, counter-tops, walls, drywall, sink, faucet, cooktop, and dishwasher were all gutted and hauled away. Even parts of the floor and ceiling were destroyed. When the backsplash was removed, bare frame walls were exposed. Nothing was spared. If it was broken, out of date, or did not function well as a component of an efficient kitchen, it was removed. My wife and I were quite enthused about the plans for the new kitchen, but I knew the starting point would not be her favorite. She is allergic to the drywall dust and the sawdust, and generally does not like the clutter and chaos of the demolition process. One of the stars of a popular remodel show on TV these days gets all excited for “demo day”, but not my wife. Never- the- less, all remodels start with destruction.
We would lose complete use of the kitchen for weeks. We were on a tight four week schedule to finish the remodel. When the first week was spent on major destruction, which made the kitchen worse, not better, it became hard to see how the next three weeks could result in an improved kitchen over the one we had when we started.
The second week was not much better, as much had to be done “behind the walls” to straighten out the location of electric plugs, gas lines, and vent ducts in the floor truss space for the cooktop. There was more sawing, chipping, and adjusting on things that would not be seen in the final finished product. We were beginning to move forward and make progress, but the end still seemed a long way off, and we were halfway into the project time line.
The final two weeks of the project saw all the new finishes and components of the kitchen come together flawlessly. The dust and chaos of destruction had evolved into a new and beautiful creation that previously had existed only in our hopes and dreams. In fact, the final product exceeded our expectations, thanks to the skilled craftsmen who had labored over every detail and task. A process that began with destruction ended in some of the finest construction I have ever seen, and resulted in a brand- new, modern kitchen.
When a person comes to know Christ, they become a candidate for a remodel. While it is true God loves us and we can come to Christ just as we are, no matter our condition, it is also true that we should not expect to remain in that same condition after coming to Christ. The grace from God that saved us unto Christ is the same grace that begins to work with us for our own good. His grace convicts us of our sin, causes us to develop distaste for the sin, and convinces us to repent and turn away from our sin. Once free from sin, we are free to become His new creation. His grace points us toward Christ as our example or pattern. When we see ourselves compared to Him, we are satisfied with nothing less than His glory. We were created in his image (Genesis 1:27), so in a very real sense, we are being restored to our original grand design. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
This personal remodel starts with demolition, but there is no need to fear. God is a skilled craftsman, and does not begin removing the old without the perfect new blueprint design in mind. His grace convinces us that our thoughts, habits, and attitudes must change. Priorities and the way we spend our time and money must be scrutinized. Sometimes friends that are holding us back must be exchanged for friends that will challenge us and lead us forward. We must evaluate things that we watch such as TV, movies, and video games to see if they are helping develop us into Christ’s likeness, or if they are inhibiting our development. If our reading habits are obsessive or too focused on Facebook and emails they must shift toward reading His word and other Christian writers. How do we use the internet–for learning, encouragement and training, or mostly for time-consuming entertainment and petty dialogue over meaningless trivia? Anything that does not lead us toward our new goal of knowing Christ and His glory must be ripped out and hauled off. If necessary, He will lovingly expose our bare walls, so that the hidden things can be revealed and corrected. Nothing is spared. The thought of such a process may be frightening, but the remodel is worth the cost. We may initially throw up some dust and chaos, but we must keep in mind the final plan, which is to be the incredible person He created us to be. This may seem radical, but we have help. If we pray and cry out for this remodel work in us, he will expose the next thing we need to pull out and modify. It is not long before we realize He is right beside us, supervising the entire demolition process.
As the old, useless things are disposed of, God will begin to work the new creation in us through His Holy Spirit. The old ways and habits will no longer satisfy. We find ourselves thinking of Him, and talking more with Him. Our thoughts, actions, language and priorities begin to change for the better. He gives us the ability to drop those bad habits. In its place He drops in more love, with higher levels of concern and consideration for others. We begin to speak more encouragement to others, and less discouragement. We begin to bear the fruit of the Spirit working in our lives, which is (Galatians 5:22) “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self -control.” He begins to reveal glimpses of the final design so that we are encouraged to cooperate further, which in turn allows Him to do a deeper work, and cause a greater change. The finished product is worth it.
For added encouragement, three Scriptures come to mind:
- Philippians 1:6- “Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
- Jeremiah 29:11- 13- “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
- 2 Corinthians: 17, 18- “Now the Lord is Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are all being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”
Do not be afraid of the demolition/remodel process when it concerns your relationship with Jesus. His nature is love, and His plans for us are good. We must let Him remove from our heart anything that separates us from Him, and remodel with new parts and finishes that will draw us to Him. The initial destruction in that remodel process is nothing compared to the glory of the finished product: the fullness of God dwelling in us.