I was standing at the corner of the house yesterday, surrounding by dirt, rocks and disorder and feeling 2 things: overwhelmed by the mess of our house and overwhelmed by the miracle of our house.
When we moved to our acreage over 6 years ago we had a list of things we wanted to accomplish. It was a long and expensive list. The property had been so neglected and abused that it wasn't really till last summer that we had (almost) run out of projects to do that required more money than sweat and until that point we'd done our fair share of sweating to redeem the 10 acres we lived on.
More than once I've stood at a property line and fiercely prayed that God would equip us to do what we believed we were called to do with the acreage: redeem, restore, re-claim, re-build. I've prayed that the right people, materials, supplies and equipment would be delivered to do more than we could ask or imagine.
And yesterday as I looked around I realized that I was, indeed, witnessing the answer to those prayers in a miraculous, out of left field way. How else can you explain the list that is being accomplished for this house: new wiring, new plumbing, new heat and air, new and extra bathrooms, more bedrooms, new kitchen, new windows, refinished wood-work, finished basement, finished attic, re-insulated. For those of you who've worked on houses, you know the above list represents a lot of money, and for those of you who know us, it's obvious we haven't had those amounts.
We've been studying Exodus in Beit Midrash and we studied chapters 17 & 18 in the same week. In Chapter 17, the Israelites are accosted by the Amalakites. God allows them to defeat this rebel tribe by an act of seemingly strange behavior- Moses has to lift his hands, the physical embodiment of prayer. Directly after, Moses is confronted by Jethro, the priest of Midian, who also happens to be Moses' father in law, but that is really a side story here. The real story is that on their way to meet God at Mt. Sinai, the people were accosted. Much like many of us. We are on our way to met God when we find ourselves in a slug fest with people we barely know or situations that are overwhelming, for reasons that don't make sense. And it looks like we'll lose. Right after deliverance. So, we lift our hands to heaven, often with the help of those who know the Lord, and He prevails, allowing us to escape defeat.
And then, as we continue on, we often find ourselves in the presence of someone sent to guide and direct us, help us on the way. A political alliance. Jethro's faith in Yahweh is secured, he offers sacrifice, he offers advice, he offers a treaty and the people continue on in the way that they should go, on their way to met God at Mt. Sinai.
The miracle of our house seems a lot like the above to me. Accosted in the form of a fire, a funeral, loss, grief, it has been a long and trying 7 months since! But out of the loss God has answered prayers, in a miraculous and unexpected way.
A blessed Sabbath!