What Our House Is Not

Our house is coming together like a puzzle assembled by an old man on a rainy day: speedy and meticulous. I’m no expert on house building (nor have I ever been anything remotely close to “handy”), but it doesn’t take a professional to see that fantastic work is being done. The framing is finished, roofing is complete, doors and windows are in place, and the electrical work is in progress. Siding will go up soon, after which our new home will start to take shape on the inside. I’m not entirely certain what will happen when, but as I said, I’m no expert, so we’re just enjoying watching things move along. As we steadily approach the estimated completion date (they’re saying early August), some thoughts come to mind, namely, what is this house and what is it not?

We know this house is a gift from God, we can’t say it isn’t (Psalms 24:1, James 1:17). But in acknowledging it as a gift we recognize that this house is not a reward. But after all we’ve been through, don’t we deserve a little bit of luxury? Haven’t we earned this? I think we both have asked ourselves those questions, but the answer to both is unequivocally no. Here’s what I mean: we don’t deserve anything, but God has given us everything we need. What we need isn’t always what we want, just as what we want isn’t always what we need, but God knows best and we would do well to trust Him and find rest in that fact.

Secondly, the situation God has placed us in doesn’t make us any better or worse or more special than any of His children. We don’t fully understand why He wants us where we are, but we know He is good (Psalms 107:1, Psalms 145:9), that He is wise (1 Corinthians 1:25, Proverbs 3:19), knows what’s best (Job 1:21, Isaiah 55:9) and what He does is for our good (Rom 8:28).

Another thing this house is not, is the end of the battle. I mean that in two ways: first because a disability like mine, though technically possible to improve with enough time and hard work, is a lifelong thing. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, because a permanent and comfortable dwelling place opens up a whole new set of temptations for us as a family. Now that we have the option to live in comfort and ease, the desire to sit back and cruise through life is becoming less vague and more of a reality. Not that comfort is wrong — it absolutely isn’t — but it can pose a danger to the passion and adventure that is following Christ with our whole lives. When we first got married, our desire and plan (check out God’s response to human plans), was to serve the Lord overseas as full time missionaries. When God closed that door to us through our accident, our passion didn’t (and hasn’t) changed, but obviously the manifestation of it looks vastly different than what we expected. We’re so looking forward to having this house, and the physical comfort it will bring to us, we just know comfort can’t be the goal of our lives.

This video by Francis Chan really challenged our hearts about this whole idea of living for comfort as Christian parents, and what effects it could have on Nyra and any other kids the Lord might give us down the road. It would be worth your while to watch (it’s short, don’t worry).

We pray that as God in His wisdom and love chooses to give us things we like and things we don’t, we would be faithful to use and enjoy each of those gifts with wisdom and humility. May you do the same, not from a sense of duty, obligation or fear, but because the great pleasure and bliss in knowing Him far surpasses anything else!

Faith vs Sight

Had a rough start this morning as one of Lane’s caregivers called in sick. We recognize sickness is inevitable, especially this time of the year (we just had the flu on Monday). Some days the reality of what’s before us simply hits us harder. My attitude and disappointment for having to cancel whatever I had planned that morning tends to always be worse than Lane’s disappointment for not getting 100% of the care he needs (an area I need to grow in, hugely grateful for his example/lead in this way). With family/friends in the area someone is almost always able to watch Nyra so I can focus on Lane, but some days simply getting everything arranged is more of a headache than taking longer as a family would be (sound familiar mom’s? ). Another caregiver ended up being able to come in for 2 hours before her classes began this am, so I was able to get Nyra around and run out to get a few things done. On the last stretch of my trip home a Granger truck happened to “appear” in front of me with a verse that God knew I would clearly need today….

“Look to the Lord and HIS strength; seek HIS face always.” Psalm 105:4

Why had taking on another day seemed so impossible in my near sighted, dimly lit eyes this morning? I was choosing to only look at the circumstances around me (that certainly can look dim & hopeless to those that  choose to dwell only on the here and now) rather than the unending reserve of the strength of my Lord. He alone desires to meet our complete dependency & weakness with HIS all sufficient strength…if we allow Him to!

The point of this post is not to gain pity but to give you an honest picture of the way some mornings roll and how you can be standing with us in prayer. Will you join us in praying that we’d fix our eyes above as we take on today? So thankful that what’s before us is not  only temporary but that we also have the perfect strength or our Lord to equip us for THIS moment. Oh that we’d reckon what’s ours in Him! Prayer for consistency with caregivers for our family’s sanity & normalcy would be a great thing too?As I close I’d like to share a quote that Lane recently brought up one of the many times we’ve discussed how quickly our hope and joy gets sapped as we dwell on our circumstances rather than our Creator. It’s a paraphrase of one of our favorite NTBI instructors, Mike Sullivan:

“A walk by sight is focused on self and circumstances, a walk by Faith is focused on Christ and His certain word.”