My husband and I love the show, Fixer Upper. Chip Gaines is seriously the funniest person on TV. We like to watch it at the end of the day when the kids are in bed and we can let loose, laugh and get inspired. Between Chip’s endless hijinks and Joanna’s jaw dropping designs, it’s always a highlight to our day. And really, we can’t be the only ones who’ve had a semi-serious conversation about selling the house, packing up the kids and moving to Waco…
In the show open, Joanna asks the question: “Do you have the guts to take on a fixer upper?”
She says guts because fixing up a rundown house is hard work – it’s blood, sweat and tears. My husband and I know this first hand because we had the guts to take one on. I remember the first time we walked through our home. Instead of focusing on how outdated it was, I imagined what it could be. The inspector told us that despite its appearance, the house had good bones and a solid foundation. I can’t help but think of how Jesus compares our life to a house in Matthew 7. He says that the strength of a house is dependent entirely on its foundation – that if the foundation is weak it will not withstand a strong storm. But if the foundation is strong, it can withstand anything.
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practiceis like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down… the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down… the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” Matthew 7: 24-27 (NIV)
You may think, who on earth would build a house on sand? But when we place our value and self-worth in unstable things like relationships, jobs, our looks or our social (media) status, that’s exactly what we’re doing because those things can change in a heartbeat. We can get dumped, fired, gain weight or have a rumor spread about us. And then what? We fall apart.
For many years my foundation was built on sand, and then one day a big storm hit and I fell apart. But unlike people, Jesus never leaves us. And so when I was in a million pieces on the ground, there He was, holding out His hand like He had done so many times in the past. Only this time I took hold of it and never let go. There was so much wrong with me. I was a fixer upper but God had the guts to take me on.
When I asked Jesus into my heart, the Holy Spirit began the process Chip likes to call Demo Day. The inward areas in my soul that were rotting and no good, He removed and replaced with a new nature. My foundation changed from sinking sand to solid rock. But my outward circumstances didn’t change overnight – it was a process – just like remodeling a house.
I remember there were times after we bought our house that I thought, “What did we get ourselves into!”
The basement flooded, we were met with one challenging project after another. Thankfully God never says that about us, no matter how much we mess up. In fact, God knows exactly what He’s getting when He calls us into relationship with Him. The good, bad and the ugly. The rotten, moldy and cracked. And He wants us anyway.
Maybe you feel like a fixer upper. Perhaps you’ve had people in your life give up on you, walk out, or tell you that you’re too much work. But do you know what God says about you? He says that His good thoughts toward you cannot be numbered. He lovingly recalls seeing you being formed in your mother’s womb and the wonderful plans He laid out for your life. If you feel like your life is too off course and you’ve messed up too much, I’ve got great news for you! God specializes in fixing disasters. He longs to bring meaning to your life, restore what has been damaged, and fulfill the plans He has for you. As long as you have breath in your body it’s not too late – there is so much life to be lived!
We all know how the show ends. Chip and Joanna take an awful mess and turn it into a dream home we all want to live in. It takes a lot of hard work. Chip sweats through a whole bunch of t-shirts but it’s all part of the process. Nothing worth having is ever easy, but in the end it is worth it.
God has the guts to take on your fixer upper. Do you?