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Seeds of the Kingdom

Redeeming Renovations!

by Cath Taylor

19 December 2011

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To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted for his own glory. They will rebuild the ancient ruins, repairing cities destroyed long ago.
Isaiah 61:3, NLT

While we were on holiday this year, on a beautiful island called Anna Maria, Andy and I discovered our favourite coffee shop! The first time we visited this coffee shop, as we were walking in the entrance, I remember noticing the house next door that was being renovated. A lot of work was going on and a lot of noise and disruption was taking place.

When we were sat in the coffee shop we noticed a video playing which was about the house being renovated next door. This house was very old and had recently been bought with the intention of renovating and restoring it. The remarkable thing was that where it now stood on the island was not where it originated from. The new owners, on falling in love with this old derelict building, had not only bought the house but also moved the house from one side of the island to another. The process of doing this even involved manoeuvering it across a canal! The cost of doing this must have been astronomical!

As I sat sipping my yummy coffee, nibbling on the kids’ even more yummy cakes, I thought how ridiculous this whole thing was! Why would you buy a house, move it and then renovate it?! Could a house really be that amazing? Surely it would be must simpler to knock it down and start again. Florida is full of beautiful, unique houses and there’s no shortage of amazing, out of this world, builders and designers.

As we left ‘our’ coffee shop I felt the Lord was telling me it was a picture of what He does in our lives. He sees beyond what we ourselves and others may think is useless or disposable – lacking in potential - and He sees such hope and potential and future. Not only does He rescue our lives from the promise of death and hell, but He also continues to redeem our lives as we offer them to Him. The memory of this house on Anna Maria Island reminds me of today’s verse. It reminds me that nothing in our lives is beyond hope. It may be costly – it already has been for the ‘owner’ of our lives and it may still be painful to walk the journey of being restored, but the end result promises to be beautiful. We serve a redeeming God who loves nothing more than restoring us back to the people He made us to be, and rescuing us to put us on a firm foundation.

Today, if there are what seems like shambles of destruction in your life and hopelessness grips your heart, I pray that this verse will remind you of the One who owns your life. If we’re willing to yield to His work, He has a plan for beauty and restoration and redemption that is beyond our comprehension. Our Father God is at work redeeming and restoring our lives, every day that we offer them to Him – whether we realise it or not, whether we see the beauty yet or not!

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You that You don’t look at my life like I do. Thank You that where I (and even others) see hopelessness and just too much work to be done, You see future beauty, potential and transformation. Today, Lord, I yield to Your work in my life and I give You permission to do all that You desire, and I choose to place my hope and faith and expectation in You, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Cath Taylor is the Assistant UK National Director. She joined the Ellel Grange team back in 1992 and has served with Ellel Ministries in Australia, the USA and the UK. Cath is married to Andy and they have three sons; Jake, Ben and Isaac.


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