Our Dwelling Place

Tree

We had a tree to fall on our house last Friday.  Just saying that sentence still causes my heart to race.  We are filled with so many different emotions.  We are thankful we were not at home when the tree fell.  We are thankful that, despite the damage and possibly having to move out temporarily when the repair work starts, we still have a home to live in.

But even in the midst of everything, there were some things that happened that definitely proved God was in control.

The massive tree split in two sections.  The first, smaller half (as in approximately 2.5 feet in diameter) fell on our carport.  Our neighbor called my Dad, who lives just five minutes away.  By the time my Dad got there, the other, much larger half (5 to 5.5 feet in diameter) of the tree fell on our house.  As my dad began to walk up to see the damage, the tree was still moving, settling down from the fall, and it was just at that point our alarm system went off.  Had my Dad been there just a couple of minutes sooner, he would have come all the way up our driveway to view the first half that had fallen.  He would have been right in the path of the second part of the fallen tree.  God fully protected him from all harm.

The second thing that happened sounds simple, but still we are giving God the praise for it.  Several years ago, our daughter had a miscarriage.  We bought a small bird bath to sit outside our kitchen window as a memorial for the baby.  We have so enjoyed seeing numerous birds come to enjoy the bird bath.  In fact, there were so many birds that used it that it had to be filled back up with water every day.

Once my husband got to our house and was looking at the damage, it dawned on him the tree had probably destroyed the birdbath.  He had to go around the tree and push his way through the limbs that had been the top of the tree.  When he got to the place where the bird bath was sitting, he saw two huge limbs lying on the ground on both sides of the birdbath.  There was another branch directly over the birdbath but it had stopped short of hitting it.  The birdbath was sitting in place, unmoved, with not a scratch on it.  He was able to pick it up and move it to a safe place.  We feel God was again telling us that He was in control and concerned about the things that are dear to us.

The third thing that happened is again, what some might say is no big deal, but we still are attributing it all to God.  Our daughter moved into her own home a month ago.  She has a company vehicle she drives to work.  Had she still been living with us, her personal vehicle would have been at home, sitting under the carport that was hit.  Her truck would have received much damage.

All of these things people may say are just small coincidences, but I will always say that our Big God cares about the small things.  As His word says, He sees the sparrows when they fall, so He surely sees every detail in our lives as well.

My Dad keeps telling me that when bad things happen, good is sure to come as well.  I believe that.  God takes care of His children and uses all things to work good for His glory.  So in all of these things, I want to give Him the glory.

Thank you, God, that things are not worse than they are.

Thank you God, for protecting my Dad from harm.

Thank you God for protecting the memorial for a grandchild that we know is resting in Your Mighty arms.

Thank You, God, for protecting our daughter from having to deal with damage to her truck.

Thank You, God, for already handling and being in control of the things we are going to have to deal with in the coming months.

The shock of everything that happened and the looming uncertainty of what is going to be involved in repairing our home, really hit me Wednesday.  But during the Wednesday evening service at Church, our choir director, Monica, led us to sing the song, “You’re a Good, Good Father.”  I could barely sing, overcome with emotions.  No matter what we have to face in life – damage to physical property, serious sicknesses, losing loved ones to death – God is STILL Good.

Our house was built in 1920.  We have been told that if the house had been built with modern day materials and standards, it would have been totally demolished.  But the strength and thickness of the “old-time” rafters withstood the blow.  However, before workers can begin repairing the outward, obvious damage to our home, a structural engineer is coming to look at the foundation.  Because of the force of the huge tree falling, the house was shaken so much that there is internal damage as well.

I was reading in 2 Corinthians 5 this morning.  It’s so wonderful that when we are going through certain things, God seems to direct us to certain passages in the Bible that will speak directly to those issues. Paul is talking in Chapter 5 about our bodies being tents, our earthly home.  And in this earthly body we have groanings, burdens.  But praise God, He is preparing us a heavenly body.  And because we know that, (having the Holy Spirit living within us is proof), we can have faith and walk in courage.  Courage to face whatever is put before us.  But one day, we will walk in sight – we will see God with our own eyes.  When that day comes, we will never again be concerned about our earthly dwelling.  We will have a new home, a new body that will never be destroyed.

As I was thinking over this passage, several other thoughts came to me.  Think about our body being like my house.  It will experience hardship because it is a temporary dwelling.  When the workers come to fix my home, they will tear off the damaged areas and replace it with new materials.  One day God will remove our earthly dwelling, our body, and give us a brand new one.  But that will only happen if our foundation, our souls, are in the right condition.

Before construction can begin on our house, workers will determine if the foundation is in the right condition.  It’s the same with us.  Christ will give us new, glorified bodies only if our foundation, our hearts, are right with Him.  If we have not been saved and Christ does not live in our hearts, then our foundation, our souls, will be destroyed.  If we are true Children of God, then just as the old beams in our home prevented the damage being even more extensive than it was, our faith in Christ will help us weather the storms of life that unbelievers cannot without Christ.

So, think about these two questions.  What shape is your foundation in?  Are you looking forward to a new dwelling place?

 

“For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.  So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.”  2 Corinthians 5:1-10 ESV

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