For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins. [Colossians 1:13-14 (NLT)]
This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! [2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT)]
As for the “House of Lost Dreams,” about which I wrote yesterday—almost overnight, where once a dilapidated ruin stood, a beautiful house now stands. The roof tiles are repaired and clean, the house is freshly painted, the overgrown yard tamed, and a “For Sale” sign stands in the yard.
That “For Sale” sign tells me the people who redeemed and refurbished the house saw it not as a home but as an opportunity for profit. They certainly had their work cut out for them; the interior was probably infested by insects and animals and covered with mold. This hot humid climate is brutal to abandoned property and within three years a house can become irreparable. I imagine the house now looks as beautiful inside as it does from the road but I wonder if the changes were only cosmetic. What about the mold deep in the drywall and wood? Is there dry rot in the framework? Are there cracks in the foundation or stucco? What about termites? Did the contractor paint over mold rather than replace wood and drywall? Did he cut corners to increase his profit? Unfortunately, not all rehabbers are ethical and honest. I only hope that the “House of Lost Dreams” doesn’t become a nightmare for whoever eventually buys it.
In our northern community, Habitat for Humanity has started buying up foreclosed abandoned properties and rehabbing them into homes for Habitat recipients. We recently toured one of those Habitat homes while it was still a work in progress. It had been stripped down to its bare bones. Drywall, furnace, appliances, cabinets, and wiring were gone—all that remained was the frame. It is now being rebuilt with new materials by volunteers and the home’s new owners who will purchase it with sweat equity and monthly payments.
Rebuilt from the ground up—that’s pretty much what happens to us when Jesus redeems us. Of course, he doesn’t have to deal with bankers and title companies but He pays off our debt to God, assumes ownership of us, and moves right in. His is not a slap-dash skin-deep surface repair (as I suspect of the Florida house) because He is making a home fit for a King! Like the Habitat builders, He takes his time while repairing and restoring us. Although He doesn’t gut us or strip us of our wiring, He’s not about to let any mold, filth, defective parts, or pests remain. He cleans up the mess, fixes what’s broken, patches the holes, pulls out the weeds, and plants a spiritual fruit tree in the garden.
Although some homes are too far gone for even the best rehabber or most devoted Habitat group, none of us are too far gone for Jesus. He doesn’t care how long we’ve been neglected, how broken-down we are, how cracked our foundation or how rotten our core. Once redeemed, He restores us. He’ll never abandon or sell us and, as a plus, He gives us our own personal handyman in the way of the Holy Spirit!