What is the long-term goal for our lives? Ultimately, God is in the business of renovating us—remaking us in the image of God. Humankind was created that way and He plans to recreate us through the work of the Gospel.

In my last post, I talked about trusting and resting in the God who hears and acts on our behalf. One of the ways He does this is by transforming the ruins of our lives into something beautiful.

This life, even for those who stay close to Jesus, is punctuated with painful events. Ever wonder why God must use difficulties – the ash experiences in our lives – to create beauty in and through us? I have on numerous occasions. And while Pam and I have experienced our share of ashes, we have friends who have had more painful experiences: physical illness, spousal unfaithfulness, prolonged unemployment, wounding from past trauma and illness or death of children.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past couple months of home building, it’s that it takes a team to build a house! This experience has given us a great opportunity to connect with new people. We’ve met with designers, builders, and craftsmen who have helped us make all kinds of decisions, ranging from the layout of the rooms to the kinds of wood to use in the flooring. One cold morning, we brought donuts to the crew, and were awestruck at the manpower that went into the framing process. As we watched, it became clear that in every way, this has been a collaborative effort.  God works collaboratively, too.

The builder of our post-fire new home is SaddleTree homes, whose President, Lee, is a wonderful businessman who finds great hope in Jesus. One day he told me the story behind the name of his company.

As you may know, “trials of many kinds” took on a new meaning for Pam and I this summer when the Waldo Canyon Fire in Colorado Springs came over the ridge west of the city and cascaded down into our neighborhood. We continue to rebuild and restore with God’s help.
Here’s a pic of the mountainside near our home, covered with snow and accenting the burned trunks of trees that remain on that hillside. It’s a constant reminder that God is not done with the restoration process – on that hill OR in our lives.

A few mornings ago, Pam and I ran up to our lot to check up on our house, which is being framed. With no roof on our framing, and after getting 6-7 inches of snow the previous night, we wondered what it would look like. When we got there, we were amazed! Our house looked like a snowboarding course out of the X Games! I could just imagine Shaun White carving down the 2X4 hand rail, soaring through the living room, then flying out the window with a flip and scoring a perfect 10 from the judges in our backyard.

Here’s a picture of the new foundation of our own personal “restoration project!” We're so excited to see our house begin to take shape. Seeing how carefully the builders laid the foundation reminded me of how the Bible uses the image of foundations. If our lives are “built” to be used to give God glory—to “make Him famous—then the topic of foundations is an important one.

After a June Colorado wildfire destroyed our home, my wife, Pam, and I settled into a rental. We are grateful for the place God has provided. One of the first mornings there, as I spent time reading and praying, I lifted my head and found that the house backed into a full view of the burned out mountainside. “Ugh! Really, God? I have to stare at that for the next year?” My heart sank, my soul was weary, and I wondered “why” on so many fronts.