Our Ugly Apartment

I write this while sitting on one of the only pieces of furniture in our apartment. And by our apartment, I mean the apartment our landlords made us pseudo-move into while they renovate our actual apartment. To make the transition easier, we tried to take the littlest amount of things with us in order to sustain ourselves. The place is barren and uncomfortable. I feel like I’m in an interrogation room with one single light bulb hanging above me (dramatic… I know). Renovating is an uncomfortable process, but we know the end result will be worth it.

Does this idea make you think about how God sometimes is working in our lives? We ask for him to shape us and form us to His image – in reality, we’re asking Him to renovate us. We’re asking him to put in new flooring (ground us by growing our faith in Christ), install a ceiling fan (keep us cool/godly in tough situations), or put a new shower stall in (keep us clean/holy in a dirty world? I might be stretching this analogy). However, that process can be very uncomfortable. Sometimes He is asking us to move out of the comfortable place we’re used to living in and occupy a barren place while He is excavating.

Now, I’m not talking about full-blown “trials” here. We all have heard the idea of being patient throughout hard trials because God is with us and He is working on us and others in the midst of it. And what comes to your mind when you think of trials? Loss of job? Cancer? Death? But what about the barren times, the boring-ness, the simply waiting on God and His exciting plans for us to take off?

This idea of waiting in the mundane reminds me of the story of Abraham (his name Abram at the time). God spoke to Abram when he was 75 years old and told him he was going to be the father of a huge nation. Guess when his wife got pregnant? 24 years later! Imagine those 24 years of waiting, knowing that God had promised him big dreams and wondering when they were going to start.

During those 24 years, Abram and his wife decided to make God’s dreams happen when they wanted them to happen - Abram had a child with a different woman. Imagine this using our renovation analogy: Wade and I decide that we’ve waited long enough in our barren apartment, so we barge into our apartment being renovated and tell the contractor, “We’re moving back in right now! You said we’d have an updated apartment and we’ve decided we’re going to have it now.”

We need to let go and let God do His work on His time. God does promise renovations of our life if we give Him the free reign of working in our lives. Maybe He is asking you to grow in these times, to make the most of it. Maybe He is asking you to take a step back from the dreams you’ve dreamt for yourself, rely on Him in the uncomfortable and wait for Him to renovate those dreams into His dreams.

- Leah Gunderson

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18).

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