On Tuesday nights you’ll find me and the kiddos gathered around the TV watching the latest episode of Fixer Upper. Our family loves Chip and Joanna Gaines! Their playful banter coupled with the incredible transformations of some of the ugliest, most dilapidated houses in Waco keep us tuning in week after week (and eagerly anticipating season 5!).

But digging deeper, I discovered my love for their show stems from something far greater than fresh paint and beautiful landscaping. In a word, it’s about restoration. Something within me comes to life as I watch them transform a home that was once shabby—and in some cases seemingly beyond repair—into something vibrant and useful, and lovely to boot.

Really, the underlying message of the show echoes the hope I have in my own life and faith journey for the not-so-pretty places that still need a lot of work. It gives me hope that God is taking those crumbling, worn out places in my soul and giving them new life. Restored, better than before.

However, round about the middle of every episode when they inevitably hit a snag in the demolition and have to call the homeowners with some unexpected surprise/expense I usually just want to skip ahead to the end. The messy middle with its piles of rubble and potential project derailers gives me anxiety (sorry Chip!). But I always hang on to the end because I know the final result will be a thing of beauty to behold.

Sometimes when that messy middle is my life, and all I can see is the debris and dirt, I can’t envision the beauty that will come from it. Perhaps you can relate. Maybe you’re in the messy middle right now and all you can see is what’s right in front of you—pain, heartache, disappointment. And you don’t even have the heart to imagine what could be.

I read something today that might help…

In no small coincidence, as I was mulling over this blog post and I sat down to read my Bible I came across this verse in Mark 8:33. Jesus is speaking to Peter and he says:

“You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s.” (NLT)

Those words lodged in my heart and reminded me that there is another perspective to any challenge I’m facing–God’s. And unlike me, he doesn’t just see what I see, he sees everything, including the end. And just like Joanna Gaines often looks at a mess of chaos and neglect and imagines something beautiful, so does God.

So if you find yourself smack dab in the middle of a mess, place your circumstances in the hands of the ultimate restorer and know that he is at work creating beauty from your chaos.

~Gut-Check and Action Steps~

  1. If you find yourself in a “messy middle” season ask God to give you a vision of what could be.
  2. John Lennon once said, “Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.” Leave me a comment and let me know what you think about that statement–or anything else for that matter. I’d love to hear from you!