Our house is at it’s finest in the summertime. With 22 windows the sun comes streaming in, the place lights up and the dust and dirt disappear (or maybe I choose not to see them).
However, once winter shows up there’s a Jekyll and Hyde situation that happens. This quaint home shows it’s ugly side as the bitter air slips between poorly insulated steel doors and we drape quilts over entryways.
As if I needed one more reason to dislike the cold and gloom.
But today isn’t that day. Today is a day of warm sun, a gentle breeze and even a few wasps floating around. The quilt is off the back door (Oh please Lord! Make it gone for good! The quilt. Not the door.), and the dogs are literally rolling around on the deck not sure what to do with all the warm sun and time to play ball in the yard.
Sometimes our spirits need a break. If we’ve endured hardship, sickness or turmoil in what feels like a dry, cloudy, bitter cold, winter season of sadness then we are extra aware when the sun finally comes out.
Reading 2 Samuel 23:4-5 brings this to mind for me:
“He is like the light of morning at sunrise on a cloudless morning, like the brightness after rain that brings the grass from the earth. ‘Is not my house right with God?’ Has He not made with me an everlasting covenant, arranged and secured in every part? Will He not bring to fruition my salvation and grant me my every desire?” (NIV)
I’m struck by the part about my house being right with God. Of course I get bent out of shape when the house is messy, there is dog hair everywhere (But I love my German and Australian Shedders!) and the people whom I absolutely love keep tracking clumps of mud on the floors I just cleaned. But, the “rightness” of our house has to do with attitude and walking out what the Lord wants from us. If the house is spotless, there’s no quilt over the door, everything is in perfect working order, and all the dishes and whatnots match, but we are a quarreling, hateful, ungodly, bitter, mean, angry bunch then a clean house means absolutely nothing.
My beloved and I need to show our children (some are adults already, which I can NOT fathom!) that marriage takes work, prayer and time in copious amounts. We must emulate Christ to the absolute best of our ability and be completely transparent when we don’t live up to the Gospel message. Meaning, we need to ask for and seek forgiveness early and often.
Over the years I’ve learned that the outside of a house only tells you so much. I’ve walked into stunning homes worth millions and while the interior was perfect and pristine the occupants were on edge and at war. Because I’m human I often gaze at houses that we can’t afford and dream, just for a moment, what it would be like to live in a house with a pool, a hot tub and one of those things where the vacuum is built in (Again. The dog hair is a real problem here!)
But truly, I’d be very OK to upgrade to a house with a pantry and a back door that doesn’t need to wear a blanket all winter. And I’m so aware that the interior and exterior with all the imperfections is way less important than who lives here and how we love each other. May we be a house of prayer and who the Lord wants us to be for those who live here.