Hi everyone, Rob here. As I mentioned last week we’ve finally been able to sell our first home and we’re now looking for a new house for our family. A year or so ago God put it on my heart that we needed to move closer to our church and the local school so we could truly be part of the church’s local community. This has meant learning to embrace limitations. The suburb we’re looking in is full of small, poorly designed houses with some ‘unique’ features added on by previous owners. The mirror wall and rotting sunroom are two of my favourites! This was highlighted when we were taken through a home outside of the area we were looking in. We loved it! It was spacious, thoughtfully designed and almost affordable. But it wasn’t in the area that God had called us to. We had to say no. We did check with God that he hadn’t changed his mind, but alas, he hadn’t. We only have one option now and that is to trust him wholeheartedly.
I may have misrepresented the suburb we’re moving into. It is actually very liveable. There are shops nearby and a park for the kids. It’s quiet and the pylons are more than made up for by healthy trees and a thriving gully system. The design problem is a nationwide issue and not limited to this one area. But the desire for more, for the perfect house is strong within us. Why do we have such trouble accepting limitations?
I think there’s a noble reason and a fallen reason. The noble reason is that we are made for Eden. We long for beauty, space and light because we are made for God’s world. The fallen/sinful reason is that we constantly try and arrange for our own comforts outside of God. Sometimes we think that if we get the external parts of our life looking good, it will somehow fix our internal problems.
Jesus’ answer is to give us new hearts that deeply long to dwell in the presence of God. Our new hearts are filled by the Spirit, not by the perfect home. So what we seek now in a home is a place where we can bring our new hearts and see his work being done in our house. It’s not so much that our home will be a blessing to us but a blessing to others, while also trusting that God knows all of our needs. And yes, we still need to be wise about size, construction issues and the needs of growing children, but in an attitude of prayer and not striving for our needs to be met.
It’s hard and we’ve struggled at times to maintain this perspective. In fact we struggled this morning! But I keep thinking back to Paul’s words in Philippians 4:12-13: “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 all this through him who gives me strength.” God has invited us to make our home in a specific location to do his work and he’s asking us to remember the most important thing: He has made his home in us (John 14:23), so let’s tend to our hearts and make him welcome.
Blessings to all.