As you might already know, I’m reading a book on prayer. I’m about halfway through Bryan Chapell’s Praying Backwards. So far, I’m still reading. And learning. And repenting. And resolving. It’s been an excellent book for me so far. My prayer life is most definitely a work in progress…ahem…that has yet to see very much progress.
Here’s one of many quotes that I’ve appreciated, and why:
In our old nature [before Christ], we were decaying spiritually–like dead flesh that can only rot away. In our new nature [the one Christ gives us when we come to Him in faith], we are constantly being renewed–like a living body that is always being restored. And because Christ is the One living in us and restoring us, we are becoming more than we were in our old nature. We are becoming more and more like him at the same time that he is giving us eternal life with him. In addition, even before we have Christ’s perfection, he shares his identity with us.”
Tim and I are the proud owners of a fixer upper–also a work in progress much like my prayer life much like my life in general. We are living in this house and restoring it: tiling floors, painting walls, replacing windows, clearing cobwebs…we have a list about a mile long that’s gonna take a lifetime to accomplish. But here and there I look and see the progress we’ve made. This house is ours. The title is in our name. We love it even though it isn’t yet all that we want it to be.
That’s what makes the above quote so meaningful to me. I look at myself and I see worn carpet, chipped paint, cracked windows, and dirt everywhere. I think, who will even consider buying a trash dump of a place like me? But Jesus did–he paid for me in full with his own life and he holds my title in his Name. Not only that, but he up and moved into this old trash dump and he’s restoring it from the ground up…until one day it will be perfect and complete. And he doesn’t make the mistakes that Tim and I do. His tiles all lay straight. He’s not overwhelmed by the million other things he has going on. He never leaves a project half done. He doesn’t have to read wikihow or DIY.com. His works in progress make progress, step by step, to perfect completion. He finishes what he starts–in me!!
Until then, as Tim and I continue to fix up our fixer-upper, we’ll watch for reminders:
Hey, babe, look–it’s the mortgage bill. Christ paid our price!
Yes, dear, and see that fresh coat of paint? Christ is still working away on you…
Oh, and check out these before and after pictures…aren’t they amazing? Just imagine what it will be like when Jesus shows the Father the finished us!
“I am confident of this very thing: that He who has begun a good work in you will carry it to completion…” Philippians 1:6
On a completely unrelated note (or maybe not), now I’m running late on supper so I’d better go. Got a big crowd coming in tonight…not sure exactly how many…but I am sure we’re having this with corn on the cob and homemade bread plus mixed fruit (peaches, blackberries, and blueberries) topped with granola warmed in the microwave and served under ice cream for dessert! Yum, yum, just made myself hungry. Bye, yo!