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Unless theLord Builds the House

Jun 10 2018

I am not a handy guy. If it can't be juggled, I probably don't know how to use it. If it has moving parts, I'll probably break it. So one summer, after returning home from being gone six weeks, it was especially stressful to find that our water smelled awful, our septic system was having problems, and the electricity in our addition wasn't working.

The electricity was simple enough; there is a reset button that needed to be pushed, and that took care of it. I have to admit, though, that I'm so unhandy that I had to ask an electrician acquaintance what I should do.

The septic was harder. The local expert, and guy who put it in 30 years prior said there were a few options. One might cost $15, the other up to $20,000. We decided to try the $15 solution first, and praise God, it worked.

Then I went to the hardware store and told the guy at the counter, "Our water smells like something fell into our well and died. What do you think it is?" He said, "something probably fell into your well and died." I drove home and checked, and sure enough, there was a squirrel doing the dead mans float. I scooped it out with my roof rake, threw bleach into the well and eventually we were able to drink, wash and cook again.

I am thankful for the various guys who told me how to fix things, but one thing none of them told me was to tear down the whole house and start over. They are repairmen, and they repair things.

But God is not interested in being our repairman. The 127th Psalm starts, "Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it Labor in vain." God wants to "build our house" from the ground up, not just get called in when our own efforts fail and we need Him to clean up our mess. When God builds our house (our lives, or any of the components that make up our lives) He starts by tearing down the old structure we've fumbled around trying to construct on our own. Perhaps there's some good lumber or hardware that He can recycle (I am so grateful that my performing was something He chose to redeem and return to me to be used for His house) but we must be aware that He owes us nothing, nor do we impress Him with anything we've built on our own.

God is also not interested in merely renting a room in the house we choose to build. "Hey, God, You stay in here, and do whatever you want with your space. I'll come visit every Sunday, but don't stray from your apartment and try to tell me what to do with the rest of my house. You have your place in it, but it's not all yours."

Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it Labor in vain. But here's the good news: if the Lord IS building the house, it is not a waste of time. Whether we see earthly results and blessing for our faith or not, IT IS NOT A WASTE OF TIME.


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