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A Building for His Pleasure

Not long ago, I was asked to evaluate the feasibility of converting an old railroad station into an office building. Before I drove all the way over to New Hampshire to see it, I studied some of the history behind the building. It was built during the turn of the century when railroads were the most popular and economical way of travel. From the articles I read, it was evident that the architect of this particular building had obviously spent a great deal of time and care thinking about how this station would serve the people that moved through it. The spaces were large, open and grand, with high ceilings and lots of natural light and ventilation. There were carefully detailed hardwood wainscots and moldings that adorned the inside to make the rooms attractive and inviting. To be a part of the restoration of such a wonderful building was a treasured opportunity for me.

What a shock it was to actually see what had become of this building over the last 80 years! Neglect and thoughtless renovations had converted this once beautiful little gem into a run down, ramshackle dump! The large open spaces had been carved up into tiny rooms. The huge open windows had been covered over with plywood. The high and lofty ceilings had been covered with a low, dropped ceiling. The rich detail of the wood trim had been covered with plaster and lath. Instead of finding the building that was conceived through the care and thoughtfulness of the architect, I found a structure that had been completely changed through years of quick renovations of convenience designed for short term gain with no consideration of the long term consequences. Boy was I disappointed. The idea of restoration was lost forever. All we had left was the possibility of more renovation to cover up the mess.

I have thought of my life like that from time to time. When God uttered the creative word that spoke me into being in my mother’s womb, it was an act of love and care. His plans for me and my future were filled with His lovingkindness and purpose. However, as I grew, convenience and selfishness overcame my desire to know the One who had created me. Instead of having my mind open and dwelling on heavenly things, it was covered over by the ceiling of my own understanding. Instead of my heart being an open, inviting room fit for His habitation, it became a rabbit-warren of compartments built by my dis- appointments. Instead of my eyes reflecting the glory of the Lord, they were covered over by fear and insecurity. In short, all of the beauty that God had intended for my life was covered up by the years of replacing His ways for my ways. The years of neglect and thoughtless renovations had converted this once beautiful gem into a run down ramshackle dump!

Enter the King of Kings!
When Jesus came into my life, I was transformed into a new creature. From that point on, His care and mercy have been removing the renovated ideas, concepts, thoughts and misguided notions and replacing them with the beauty of His holiness-the very thing He had intended for me all along! Away with the ceiling of my understanding! Away with the disappointments of trusting in my self! He is restoring me to the vision He had for me when He called me into existence!

The Lord does not renovate, that is, cover over the old with something new. But He restores us into His image. No matter how tarnished, no matter how many walls we have built in our hearts, no matter how overwhelming our facades may seem, He can restore us into the very place He longs to live!

“Do you not know that you are a temple (building) of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” 1 Corinthians 3:16

What an incredible building that must be!!