The great beauty (and high cost) of transformation


December 12, 2014 by John Nicholas Prassas

After_r01I deal with transformations every day – literally.

Because I sell and manage remodeling projects when I’m not brokering real estate deals I get to enjoy the glorious ‘before’ and ‘after’ qualities of transformation more than most people.

I get to see nasty old showers and laminate kitchen counters replaced by new materials and designs that sing entirely new songs.  It really is beautiful to behold.

But it really is expensive, too.  Even the smallest kitchen or bathroom projects cost thousands of dollars while the bigger ones run $20-50K!

Even if you try to avoid the expense of hiring professionals to do the work, YOU WILL PAY for transformation one way or another.

This truth hit home for me recently when I offered to repaint our wood paneled living room for Suzi’s birthday and transform it from dated and faded brown to rich and creamy white.

I’m still exhausted, two weeks after completing the task.  Why?

Well, first because even high-grade Sherwin Williams paint with built-in primer didn’t cover brown wood paneling with a single coat.  Nor with a second coat.  No, our stately old living room demanded three full and meticulous coats of paint before any new ‘music’ could be seen or heard.

And secondly, I’m tired because the room is big and tall.  Lots of wall space.  Lots of trim.  Lots of windows, sills and side walls.  And lots of altitude, which forced me to balance atop an 8′ ladder, clinging to the upper reaches with finger holds like a North Face rock climber to balance my body and keep one hand free to paint 14 feet above the hardwood floor below.

The combination of muscular fatigue, acrophobia and multiple coats nearly did me in as I painted into the wee hours night after night for almost two weeks straight.

The result (per photo above) is very nice.  We think it’s beautiful.  But it wasn’t free.  Even though we didn’t pay anyone, there were paint, supplies and painfully long hours required.

As I painted and watched the white paint cover the dark wood to create a bright and glorious new appearance (see my ‘before’ pic below right)Before_r01, I was reminded of Isaiah 1:18…

“Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them white as snow. Though they are red like crimson I will make them white as wool.”

Talk about transformation!  Wow, isn’t the forgiveness and removal of our sins the greatest one of all?  And it’s a transformation that is utterly free – to us, anyway.

Jesus paid the price and bore the incredibly high cost.  He agonized and suffered our shame for every wrongdoing and bore the ultimate penalty for our rejection of God’s grace.

He had the pure heart and white wool and exchanged them for our impure hearts and dirty coats.

That’s the good news of the gospel.  And it gets even better.

“He who began a good work in you will finish it.”  Philippians 1:6.

Transformation of our souls is God’s beautiful business and it’s his work to perform – at no cost to us – as he changes us from spiritual orphans to adopted sons and daughters.  If we’ll allow it, or better yet, gracefully receive it and enthusiastically embrace it.

Such a great deal…beautiful transformation without the cost.  Sounds like a miracle to me, the ideal gift to unwrap (or reopen) this year for Christmas.

Let’s pray:

Thank you heavenly Father for exchanging the purity and nobility of your son for our poverty. Thank you for making our sins white as snow!  We welcome your continuous transformation of our souls…with faith, hope and love…in Jesus’ name.  Amen.


14 thoughts on “The great beauty (and high cost) of transformation

  1. Craig Turner says:

    Good one John! Thanks.

  2. Randy Griffin says:

    Great word John and the room looks fantastic! We have a room very similar that we did the exact same thing, I remember after putting the first coat on and hoping for so much more it still looked terrible. My wife helped with the first coat, when we had finished the first coat she fell down in the corner of the room and started crying, she could not take the process. After three coats and 15 tubes of caulking it now looks awesome!

    Randy Griffin Sojourn Church

    • Ha! Suzi bowed out about the same time – after spilling a tray of paint on the floor. I’m still chuckling about the ’15 tubes of caulking.’ I didn’t use any caulk but I can just imagine. I hope your completed room continues to inspire you to embace God’s ultimate make-over.

  3. Susan Moore says:

    Transformation is a beautiful thing! Enjoyed your story!

  4. Suzi says:

    I praise God for the inner and outer transformations in our lives! oxox

  5. Dan frank says:

    I know the story was spiritual but hey fantastic work also!!! Looks awesome!!!

  6. Robin and Garry Seaber says:

    Thank you for the reminder John! Your living room looks gorgeous and I bet you are exhausted haha:) I am taking a sabbatical from Facebook but you have Garry’s and my contact info. if you and Suzi are ever in Denver. We have 2 guest rooms since we are empty nesters so head to the Rockies! Merry Christmas to you and your beautiful family and blessings for a Christ centered celebration. G and R

  7. Judy Ferguson says:

    Hi John & Suzi
    Thanks for sharing. I was getting a little nervous when you started talking about the ladder. John you are such a wise man and a true blessing to our family. Merry Christmas to all.

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