There was that sweet moment when we moved into our turn-key home where everything felt fresh and in order. We came in, laid on the new carpet and began dreaming of all the good things that would happen here. There were even thoughts about adding a window, refinishing countertops, and updating bathroom floors. Someday. Everything was just RIGHT at the moment.
And we gave thanks.
Furniture and love would make it feel like our home, and we would live happily ever after – or something like that.
There were about 3 hours before the first tests to that plan came. A door-knob fell off, our dog threw up on the new carpet, and the linoleum peeled in the bathroom when I innocently adjusted a vent cover. The good feelings suddenly felt less good and reality came knocking on the front door to remind me this was just another house with plenty of problems.
For instance, our pooch likes to run-away because, no fence – and…moose to chase! There’s been frozen pipes, a flooded basement, on-going moisture repairs, a septic drain clogged, kitchen sink issues, ice flowing into our garage, and on and on. Every day we find another issue to consider fixing. Isn’t that just life!?
Sad, but true story: this house is as broken and flawed as the rest of us. It needs work. And not the optional kind we dreamed about on the first day.
Yet, we can’t stop giving thanks for it, because for all it’s issues, this place has been a gift!
Of Community, that has supported and surrounded us in our troubles.
Of new friends, who have graced our table with their smiles and encouragement
Of work and play and laughter and bonding that has happened in our own family over bailing water from the basement, digging ourselves out of ice berms, and sharing one bathroom and two bedrooms while the basement gets worked on.
And of grace to our hearts as we come back to this place night after night, and realize again and again how God provided where we didn’t expect, in ways we never imagined to give us this place of warmth and family and community.
There is no doubt, the story that will be told of this home will not be one of disaster, but of love and endurance, of God’s goodness and especially His grace.
There is always so much to be grateful for!
Like we are finding with our house, this life with it’s troubles exposes my own weaknesses, and no amount of fixing or primping will ever solve the “problem” that I carry in my whole being. I need consistent care – daily saving by One who can do more than just paint over the cracks and duck tape the breaks.
Someday, I will experience completeness, being freed from this flawed self once for all, but right now, I am at the mercy of One who knows my every weakness, and lives in me anyway, accepting that though the flesh is decaying, yet I am daily being made new, because of Him. Renewed because of His life in me.
Man that’s good news!
I like how 2 Corinthians 4:16 says it (from the Message) –
So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.