I trucked my little ones down there, armed with snacks, action figures, and a laptop to play movies on…
…Desperately trying to make progress on a project that seems impossible.
I walk into a house that is suppose to be “home” to a family of eight in just three short weeks, and it looks like this:
As I entered the mess and chaos, and with it, the enormous to-do list, I started…
Something welled up inside me to declare,
I don’t care what kind state this place is in, it is going to be a place where Jesus Christ is worshipped.
Don’t get me wrong, this house renovation has been a vacillating faith walk for me these past several months. I have laid this house before King Jesus more times than I can count, praying boldly that it would be like the Tabernacle of the Old Testament, in which God already had all the details and measurements in mind for it. He anointed men to work on it and build it and He even lined up all the materials for it. And then it became a place of reverent worship unto Him. (mmm…that sounds vaguely familiar to the book that is in the process of being written) And I pray diligently and I believe faithfully, and then…
every time I would show up to the work site, all my faith would quickly run down the drain…a drain that looks like the paint-covered, spackle-crusted one that is suppose to give my babies baths in three weeks.
But today, today I would choose to sing, and declare the praises of my Lord in a place and situation that seems too impossible for human hands to fix.
I check my phone to see what the weather is suppose to be like on Saturday, a day scheduled for volunteers to come and help with fixing up the place.
One of the coldest weekends of the winter predicted… too cold to paint, too cold to work outside in our demolition-site-appearance of a yard.
I lay that before King Jesus too, for He is Lord of weather and warmth.
Saturday morning, after a 4:00 am rising, we re-enter a house that still looks like it did earlier in the week.
And this time, a new battle cry, or maybe heart submission stirs.
Lord, I know I made that inner vow months ago, “There is NO way I’m moving my family into an unfinished house.” But, Lord, if you have given us the faith to move into this neighborhood, you can give me the faith to move into a house that isn’t completely finished. Faith from YOU can enable me to do and endure anything. I surrender it all to your will.
And then I started singing again.
For when your own efforts can do little to change circumstances, your heart efforts in sacrificial praise and thanksgiving can.
9 a.m people start rolling in…people I have never met before. People who just got wind that a family needed help with their house renovations. Master organizers started cleaning and sorting the tools and supplies strewn all over the place. Skilled workers who actually knew how to fix porches and put trim up and spackle sheetrock rolled in. Skilled painters came in who painted cabinets and walls and closets. And skilled chefs brought food to nourish working individuals.
And the sun came out. And the temperature rose. And in 55 degree weather people joyfully filled an entire dumpster with all the scrap materials that cluttered the yard, and in bright sunshine men fixed rotting wood on the porch, and in a warm breeze we later gathered to eat lunch and talk about how God is stirring…doing something mighty in this place.
And as I bustle about getting supplies for different projects and giving direction to different “crews” I keep saying.
This is a miracle.
THIS is a miracle.
This is a miracle!
Hope bloomed bold in my heart. Maybe, just maybe, we will move into a (mostly) finished house. And if we don’t, my heart is in a place to receive that, too, with thanksgiving. And thanks to the wonderful people who showed up, I now know how to cut, install, and spackle sheetrock. Which makes all of the other jobs around the house more “learnable”. (I mean, who says, a mom of six can’t finish sheet rocking the basement, or learn how to place tile in a bathroom, or lay a backsplash in the kitchen?!?)
By the end of the day, FORTY individuals had come through that house. Some worked for two hours, some for 8. Some were 7 years old and some were 65. Some were skilled carpenters and some were kids who just picked up trash or sanded re-usable trim.
There is still MUCH to be done, but this mamma has witnessed a miracle. And what I see happening in a physical building, I am praying for in the human hearts of my new neighbors, in myself, as we build, not only a house for my kids to dwell in, but a community of Jesus followers for my Savior to dwell in.
After all, I have witnessed a miracle.
God is building us a tabernacle, so that we can be His hands and feet to build His Tabernacle.
A Tabernacle of people who are His, who believe their God and witness His miracles.
To watch a short video of Danny sharing the vision before the work day two weeks ago, click HERE.