To all of us the word "home" means a variety of things. Home could be the town you grew up in, or where mom and dad live. Home could be a physical place, or a feeling of being "at home" when you are with certain people. For the past week or so the idea of what "home" is has been on my mind a lot, because this week I will be going back to where I grew up in NY for the first time in about 4 years and wondering if it will still feel like "home" or not. Over the years there have been many places that I have called home. Miracle Mountain Ranch feels like a second home, French Camp Academy feels like home, many of my friends' homes, as well as my current place of residence here in Utah is my home. I guess the phrase that "Home is where the heart is" is very true to me. Where my heart longs to be will always feel like home when I am there, and like something is missing when I am not. Which brings me to what God has been showing me this week. Shane and I both have new jobs, in separate states, and the jobs are blessings to both of us, yet it has caused frustration because we both have had open doors that have kept us apart instead of bringing us together like we had hoped. Through all of this God has been opening my eyes to what it means to let Him, lay the foundation for our future "home" as a couple and helped me find some peace.
In Matthew 6 Jesus is talking about not building up earthy treasure, but Heavenly treasure and in Matt 6:21 He says "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.". That one simple phrase got me thinking and asking questions of myself like: "where do I put my treasure?" and "what do I consider treasure?" and it led me to the source of my discontentment. I was placing my treasure in things that are not mine to have right now, like a "normal" dating relationship with Shane. A friend and mentor put it this way: "Lust is a discontentment with the state you are in, having a strong
passion for what you would like to have. You won't lust for something if
you are content in the state of which you are in. Paul said in
scriptures that he has learned to be content in whatever state he was in
whether having much or having little, Philippians 4:11,12. Contentment
is a great gain, 1 Tim. 6:6" My heart was so lost in what I could not have that I had lost sight of what my Heavenly Father has been giving me (and us) along the way.
The next piece of the puzzle came actually from Shane :) He was sharing his devotions with me one day and they fit perfectly into this life lesson I am watching unfold before me. "I was crushed...so much so that I despaired even of life, but that was
to make me rely not on myself, but on the God who raises the dead. 2
Corinthians 1:8, 9"
"Pressed out of measure and pressed to all length;
Pressed so intensely it seems, beyond strength;
Pressed in the body and pressed in the soul,
Pressed in the mind till the dark surges roll.
Pressure by foes, and a pressure from friends.
Pressure on pressure, till life nearly ends.
"Pressed into knowing no helper but God;
Pressed into loving the staff and the rod.
Pressed into liberty where nothing clings;
Pressed into faith for impossible things.
Pressed into living a life in the Lord,
Pressed into living a Christ-life outpoured."
The final thought in this process was actually a verse that brings back a lot of memories with it. When we built our house in NY back in 1994 we had a sign out by the road where we would post the various building permits, and on the sign in big letters was Psalms 127:1a "Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it.". I was 5 when we built our house, and I remember dad being there for long hours every day and going over with mom and helping sort 2x4s just so I could be there. In the deepest part of my heart I know God built that house, because He sent the help when we needed it the most, He protected my dad on the late nights he was there wiring with the electric hot so he could have a light to see, He blessed our home and allowed us the ability to host and bless the many that came through our doors for the next 13 years and many other ways that He showed He was faithful to us and it was His doing. Shane and I aren't exactly building a "house" right now, but we are building a relationship, and if we fight and struggle for things to go how we think it should be going, our struggles will be in vain because it isn't the right time. The Lord is the master carpenter building our "house", and right now He is hardening the foundation of our faith in Him before He starts building the walls so that some day we will be able to say "As for me and my house we will serve the Lord."