Tuesday, February 4, 2014

love it or list it


Every Saturday, I spin my feet on the elliptical machine at the YMCA. HGTV's "Love it or List it" plays out with all its scripted reality on the tv in front of me.

These people, who live in old houses, and love it a little and also hate it a lot, are my comrades in life.

Our old house has flooded, been struck by lightning, had pipes leak, bathtubs break, HVACs malfunction, and a host of other problems.

Some days the quaint bookcases, large treed lot, and cozy floor plan woo me into staying forever. Other days, I long for bigger, more open spaces without forty year old problems that flatten our lives like a steamroller.

Should we stay or should we move, Lord?

Truth often sits silently in front of us, awaiting the simple settling of our gaze, the embrace of our thoughts, the hope of our hearts.

Better put down the phone, close the laptop, and pay attention. God has things to say.

I knelt in worship at church a few weeks ago, opened Isaiah 58, and the very beat of blood in my veins was scrawled out there next to the number 12.

I searched every version, and found none of them failed to serve as a beacon in the haze, calling me out of the day to day blasé and into the grander story of God's kingdom.

"Some of you will rebuild the deserted ruins of your cities.
Then you will be known as a rebuilder of walls
and a restorer of homes." -New Living Translation


This is who I long to be.

I never tire of this gritty love story called the gospel. The way it supernaturally turns the dirty slums of my heart into palaces of hope is addictive.

Give me the tired and ripped vinyl of the backseat. Take me through the service entrance and tell me to make myself uncomfortable. Festoon my life with tattered pages of discarded dreams. Slap me with ugly labels. Tell everyone I'm a has-been, a ne'er do well, and that you've forgotten if I ever had any potential at all.

Point me to the ruins of the world. That's where my Lord leads the blessed.

After the darkness settles over my bent, prayerful head, the moment will come when the trash heap turns into treasure. The backseat will become a coveted throne of blessing. Tears make way for laughter. Dark, lonely streets of the soul are filled with dancing.

Every. Single. Time.

This difficult life of ours, these scarred souls in need of grace, that clunky relationship, these flawed children, this old house beset by problems, will we love it or list it?
We will love them all, and cultivate faithfulness and the disciplined hope for God's glory to shine forth.

If God wants us to move, He will have to push us out into a new season. We will stay until we see His power made perfect in our weakness, and dream of a restored world as we await the day His glory reigns.

Because in the end, that's who He has made us to be.

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