A new kitchen, a new bathroom, a new den, a new school, and a new church…I could go on and on. When I look back over the years, since I’ve been married and had children, there have been so many changes. But when I look close, when I really examine how all these “new” things came about, it seems each one started as some sort of catastrophe, disaster or terribly tragic situation. At least that’s the way it seemed at the time. Go with me here for a moment, I promise not to document all of them in detail.
Our first remodel was the result of a slow leak under our tub. As happy new homeowners we had no idea the water wasn’t draining out, but seeping between the floor and the tiny little ceramic tiles. By the time we discovered the problem it was too late. The insurance company refused to pay for it, and the repairs were going to cost us thousands of dollars we didn’t really have to spend. It was a real stressful time that only intensified when the contractor took a full YEAR to repair ONE bathroom. When it was finally finished, the contractor’s work didn’t comply with company standards, so after an inspection, our money was refunded. I’m serious, every penny back in the bank.
A sagging roofline and collapsing floors forced us into our 2nd remodel. This time it was our kitchen. Although we were more remodel savvy, we still weren’t prepared for all the things that went wrong. The day after the new contractor told us it was going to cost much more than we ever imagined, someone sent us a check to cover the expenses. I know, it sounds unbelievable, but it’s true.
-A late night lightning strike that set our house on fire sealed the deal on a new den.
-A school that shut down abruptly left us in limbo but sent us searching for the school God had selected.
-A church that split, not once but twice, turned us toward the wonderful place where we worship now.
Every situation found us in fear, frustration, anger, tears and turmoil. But each obstacle left us better prepared to persevere.
We’re obviously not “home free” because the journey continues.
We’re now being tested by new trials. I’d like to say we are champions of James 1:2 and consider it all joy, but that wouldn’t necessarily be true. We do laugh, in between the latest thing to go wrong, and the mini-meltdowns that come as a result of having no control. And we press on.
Yesterday, as I was admiring the beautiful autumn leaves, it occurred to me that they have to die in order to make way for all things new. And each time we go through something trying, something tough, something we would rather not experience, we die a little more to ourselves and are forced to rely more faithfully on the hand of God.
It all sounds sort of simple in a way…something broke…we got it fixed…it all turned out better. But I’m looking back over 17 years and I can tell you it wasn’t simple, it wasn’t easy and, at times, we saw no end in sight.
So, wherever we are headed now, whatever God has planned, as hard as it is to sit still and not try to orchestrate our own solutions, He already has it figured out. He’s told us not to worry and not to fear. I need reminding every day, sometimes every hour, often times once or twice a minute.
In Lamentations, it says each morning His mercies begin anew.
Where are you right now in your journey?
Can you look back and see how God worked things out?
Are you so covered up that you feel your faith is faltering?
Each time God brings me through, I think I will never doubt Him again.
But, then, a new challenge arises, and the battle begins again.
I’ve read the end of the Book,
I know He wins,
but the battle is still very real.
“I will remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”
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