Sunday, September 4, 2011

Not Laboring in Vain

"Unless the Lord builds the house, it's builders labor in vain." Psalm 127:1

When I met the man who would become my husband, he had one thing on his mind...his house. He was deep in the throes of building a beautiful home on a quiet little street. Eventually, he would finish the house and we would marry making our sweet Victorian house into a home. We have welcomed two children in this home, and mourned the losses of three others. This year, our youngest will have her kindergarten pictures snapped on our homey wrap around porch, the same place her older sister had hers taken when she was five.

Big old trees surround our property and an old, historic carriage house stands somewhat precariously at the forefront of our little patch of Heaven. Ten years have elapsed, our home now needs work...painting and fixing and hammering, oh my! But I would not trade our humble abode for a perfect one, without the dents, scratches and history.

This house knows how far I have come and how much I have grown to love where God planted us. When our elder daughter came along, I was preoccupied with the thought that our home was not the home I had dreamed of. I had different visions for the kitchen, ours a large farmhouse kitchen that blends unknowingly into the dining room. I had different visions for the steps, ours white with a beautiful Victorian runner adorning each wooden tread, I dreamed of oak hardwood. Needless to say, there were many years I coveted the homes of others and secretly stashed Homes magazines pouring over the pages looking for our perfect home. But God knew all along...He knew this was our home. Over and over, He would provide for me confirmation that He ordained this home to be our own. With prayer and a resignation of my pride, God showed me time and time again to love and nurture this home and not jump ahead of Him.

....I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Him who gives me strength." Philippians 4: 11b - 13, NIV

As I prayed about my worldly desires and my dream home, God reminded me very clearly, "I am your dwelling place." POOF! Just like that, God had managed to soften that hard place inside, that place that was dishonoring the labors of my husband's hands and the plan God had clearly orchestrated. In an instant, I felt the selfish desires slip away and began to see the beauty and provision in our home. It was in this home that my husband and two children learned how to pray, this home makes light work of driving the children to school and myself to that same school for work, it was in this home, that we consciously changed our lives, doing devotions each day and reading our Bibles consistently.

Ultimately, it became clear to me that the Lord does not desire for us to become attached to our worldly posessions. As special and meaningful as it is that my dear husband built the home we live in, truly it is not a home until we fully recognize the critical role God played in building this home too. Until we submit completely to His will, we are laboring in vain.

So, especially today, I ask, where are you laboring in vain? Are there areas of your life not fully committed to our precious Lord? Each day, I begin with prayer asking God, what is it you have for me today, Lord? I desire to serve Him with a joyful spirit and stand content with where He has He the Lord of your home this day?


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