Today there are lots of shows on TV featuring cute couples fixing up houses and flipping them for profit. Like that old Barbara Mandrell song, “I was Country before Country was Cool”, my husband and I had no clue that what we were doing would someday be trendy!
Though never professional real estate flipper’s we had lots of enthusiasm but no viable skills- taking the attitude of “how hard can it be?” and set about try stuff. Occasionally “How hard can it be” proved to be pretty hard, especially while living in the midst of the chaos. We would generally find the worst house in the best neighborhood and set about, over time, to make it as wonderful as we could.
During those years we moved often and flipped lots of houses. We taught ourselves skill sets and how to use scary tools, and undertook projects into the wee hours of the morning, making improvements while the children slept. In the process we removed a lot of old, filthy, ugly aspects of dated real estate we had purchased. Looking back on it all, we didn’t always knock it out of the park, but usually came out on the plus side financially and had a lot of fun along the way. Good times!
Of course, there is a sermon in this story. Jesus is after all the ultimate Fixer-Upper! And for some inexplicable reason he chose to purchase us. From the point of view or perspective of the house, everything was fine. You and I didn’t realize how raggedy we were on the block! We thought we looked great, unaware that we had long been tagged for ultimate demolition and that our days were numbered!
As He enters thru that open front door, we are suddenly, painfully aware of our garish paint and that the carpeting of our heart is so nasty no one would willingly walk across it. In spite of the pitiful condition of my real estate- complete with faulty wiring and toxic plumbing- Jesus made an incredible offer for us and signed it in blood.
By comparing ourselves only to those others, equally doomed, in our neighborhood, we had no comprehension til we met The Builder, what a sad ramshackle mess we were! He begins where all beginnings should start with that cracked, and faulty foundation. He jacks us up and straightens us out and pours us a new foundation with his name stamped on the cornerstone.
The purchase complete, He immediately moved right in with the mess, peeling paint and suspicious smells. He alone had the vision of what this house would look like when he was done. The man with the plan, Jesus wasted no time, rolled up his sleeves and set to work on the transformation of His dream house.
Brand new windows were soon installed to let the revelation stream in. And a new roof protected what lay beneath. Room by room, the Fixer Upper steadily made quiet changes. He ripped down dusty drapes, peeled hideous wallpaper, He sliced up the tri-colored shag carpet and carried it out chunk by manageable chunk. Jesus patched the holes, and replaced needed drywall which had suffered through years of rough treatment. He added His signature crown molding and changed the locks on all the doors. Along with crates of trash and clutter he found, Jesus and his hard-working helper, Holy Spirit cleared the attic and basement of dangerous critters, eradicating all sign of pests and vermin. He rewired the house from the ground up, removed the lead pipes and had the water tested. He installed a new mailbox, replaced every light fixtures and gave us state of the art electronics, complete with lovely finishes and top of the line appliances. In this kitchen amazing things will soon be prepared. Next he begins to change the landscape planting new trees and flowers. New paint, in and out, gave us a fresh, new face. He took the time to oil every hinge, and make sure that every single thing was level.
When complete. This once shaky house is totally new. Nothing looks the same because nothing is the same! Now, I am His habitation, His tabernacle! He has moved in and over time placed his stamp on every aspect of this redeemed purchase. The aroma of his anointing fills every room; and with this changed atmosphere anyone who comes down the street or visits this house can tell it is different.
The value has gone up astronomically and soon begins to affect the whole neighborhood. Jesus is a carpenter after all and when we open that door to the ultimate Fixer Upper, nothing will ever be the same.
For further study:
Romans 12:1-2; Psalms 51:10; Isaiah 43:19; Jeremiah 25:11; Psalm 103:1-5; 1 Cor. 3:11-13; Psalm 11:3; Ezk. 36:26; 2 Timothy 2:19; Isa. 58:12