Our house is in shambles.
Walls have been knocked down, studs revealed, old wiring uncovered. The mysterious pipe in the pantry, well, turns out that is a gas line. “We wondered about that,” I laugh with my contractors as we pivot to deal with the house’s secrets now laid bare.
We are renovating and adding on, squeezing our family of five (plus two pets) into an even smaller footprint for a time. A little over a year ago, we lounged in 2500 square feet; now, we are getting along just fine in about 1000. Though, I’ll admit, I am quite grateful for in-person learning and my husband’s special dispensation to work in the office. Still, I marvel at the ability of humans to adapt. Perhaps we don’t need all that we think we need?
Our refrigerator is within reach of the person seated at the end of the dining table. “Pass the butter” has taken on a whole new meaning. Our main walkway involves squeezing between people hunched over their plastic bowls and spoons and the piano that is wedged under the window. Our cat thinks the new construction is his personal playground. Our dog has made friends with all of the specialty subcontractors, from the electricians to the framing crew.
All this discomfort, inconvenience and mess makes me oddly excited. You see, I know what is coming in a few months. A more spacious, comfortable, well-planned home for our family, where we can welcome friends and neighbors. I find it shockingly easy to smile and laugh at the chaos and noise because I know what lies ahead.
She laughs without fear of the future – Proverbs 31:25b
This glorious mess is also the perfect picture (in literature, they call it a metaphor) of the life of every Christian on this planet, in this existence. We are surrounded by the confusion, mess, and disarray of a world saturated in sin. But we know this is not our home. We are challenged to look elsewhere for comfort, because the comforts this dying world has to offer are fleeting and cannot satisfy. The only true comfort resides in our true Home with our true Father – the God of all Comfort. And I wonder, if we are too comfortable here and now, in this perishing world with its perishable goods, perhaps that fact should give us pause…
Now, let me be abundantly clear, am I saying that this world is worthless and not worth a second thought? Definitely not! Jesus bends all of His marvelous thought toward building His kingdom and reconstructing this earth. He is the ultimate fixer-upper. He looks at the disaster wreaked by sin and sees what could be, and He is actively working to restore all of creation. We should NEVER give up on our planet, on our society, on our neighborhoods, because He NEVER gives up on us or any of those things.
But reconstruction and demolition and rebuilding and renovation are hard work. None of those are comfortable to live through. I know…that’s what I’m living through now.
Our children are surrounded by inconvenience . Their possessions are in storage. Two are sharing a room. No one, including myself, really knows where anything is right now. Plastic tarps are hanging everywhere, so we “zipper” through from one space to the next. We are crowded, cramped, crazy. Our life is under construction, and at times, it is difficult. Nothing is easy. But my husband and I continually remind them of the end goal – a new, shining, spacious home. Hmmm…
We should be doing the same as older Christians encouraging our children – who are also our younger brothers and sisters. Who are learning about what it means to follow Jesus.
“Life in this world is hard. It is full of pain, suffering, and inconvenience. It is not comfortable. Look at Our Lord Jesus, kids. He never promised following Him would be easy – actually, the opposite. His life was so difficult and his death was horrific…BUT”
And this “but” is the best in all of history – “But He rose again and is seated with His Father in heaven. His kingdom and our home with Him is also under construction. He said that He is preparing a place for those who love Him wholeheartedly. And that is where our REAL, TRUE shining, spacious, forever home will be.”
“Remember, kids (remember, my own heart), everything you see now is temporary. It is under construction. Keep your eyes fixed on the goal – on Jesus, who is your home.”
And this perfect, unfading, completely satisfying home is available to EVERYONE! It is not an exclusive, members-only resort. This home is the epitome of home – warm, welcoming, comforting, full of rest and peace and safety. You only have to ask to come in. You only have to want to be there forever. You only have to want to be with the One Who made and sustains this home. The One Who IS this home.
For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. – 2 Corinthians 5:1
My Father’s house has many rooms. If that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. – John 14:2-3