May we look like You live here
Doing some weeding this morning and thinking about sanctification.
We bought our house seven years ago. It required eyes of faith. The house itself was outdated and neglected - if it had been on a HGTV show it would have been labeled a “total gut job.” We will just say it had good bones.
The property hadn’t been truly cared for in years. Broken and irregularly placed pavers were the only “front sidewalk” we had. Hip-high (sometimes shoulder-high) weeds and brush surrounded the house. Attempts at flower beds from years past were now fields of thistles.
But it was ours. I remember telling my husband in that first year that my biggest goal was that the house wouldn’t look vacant and abandoned!
Many home projects and seven summers later, hours and hours and hours of weeding and planting and truckloads of mulch and more weeding... and more weeding... it’s beautiful. It not only doesn’t feel abandoned- it feels loved. It feels like we live here.
But it still requires hours of weeding. We will get a bed all manicured and beautiful and two weeks later, weeds are popping up. But it’s not an infestation like it was before.
Sanctification is like that. When God makes us His own, it’s not because we have anything attractive about us. But He loves us makes us His, seeing us as He will make us to be. And He sets to work.
It’s painful, deep work. Clearing out thickets of sin and strongholds that have developed. Planting in good, pulling out bad.
Over time, we begin to look more and more “lived in”- we look more like Jesus as the Holy Spirit makes His home in us. As we grow in Him and submit to His work, those strongholds are broken down and cleared away. It’s beautiful.
But there’s still ongoing weeding to be done. We are still living in a sinful world. We still battle our sinful natures. He still has piles of weeds to clear away, even in the same spot He labored in last year. But the soil is softer, the good has taken firmer root.
This is a hard season for us all in different ways. Lord, use this to soften the soil of our souls. Pull out those deep roots that hold on so tightly. Make Your home in us. May we look like You live here.a