I think I used to somewhat deceive myself that once my three children flew the coup, my house would be a more organized residence.
What a joke.
The reality I have had to face a long time ago (and Bob has patiently and lovingly embraced this with my other idiosyncrasies) is that I am a “messy girl”. Now, add our big, black dog to that mix, and my fur-covered carpet and floors just underscore that truth.
By contrast, everywhere my folks go, improves. Amazingly. They are both from the builder generation, and are themselves two of the most disciplined and selfless people you could hope to find.
For example, we had dogs growing up, too. I recently asked Mom about that, and she said there was always dog hair around…but I don’t even remember it. Of course not. Because Mom’s house was CLEAN!
If something needed fixing in our home/garage/yard/car, it wasn’t long before Dad got it done. And if it didn’t need fixing, just “upgrading”, well, that happened as well. Many times it was per my father’s own design, and/or by his own hand and skill.
They have worked side-by-side planning and building lots of others things also. Years ago, one of the folks’ projects was a little cabin up north. I’ve seen some of the “before” photos, and I’ve been privileged to partake in the “afterglow” of their efforts. Things were always—always—better when they left than when they first showed up. But it didn’t happen until they arrived on the scene and “set up house” inside. And they made it a place we wanted to come “home” to, not just because of how nice it was, but because they were there.
Which gives me pause to consider this:
How lovely is your dwelling place,
O Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
I long, yes, I faint with longing
to enter the courts of the Lord.
With my whole being, body and soul,
I will shout joyfully to the living God.
Even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow builds her nest and raises her young
at a place near your altar,
O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, my King and my God!
What joy for those who can live in your house,
always singing your praises.
So here is a description of a hugely powerful “Lord of Heaven’s Armies” God whose courts and presence are worthy of swooning over, yet whose gentleness gives enough confidence to a lowly sparrow to nest her young. His place of residence must be not only amazingly beautiful, but warmly inviting.
Now here’s the punch line:
“Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God?…”
In other words, that whole “how lovely is Your dwelling place” can, in part (in a LARGE part), be applied to each of Jesus’ followers. Right now. It doesn’t really matter what state of construction we may be in at the time, because it’s His indwelling that makes all the difference. He already sees the finished plan in His heart, (like Mom and Dad did on paper), while His Spirit is hammering away.
Say it again: As a follower of Jesus, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies dwells in you, and therefore, you are His LOVELY dwelling place. Don’t contradict this Contractor.
So let the chips fly. ‘Cuz when the dust settles, it’ll be a sight to behold.
(PS- Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad!! I love you!!)
Psalm 84:1-4; 1 Corinthians 6:19 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.