the laborer labors in vain. Psalm 127:1
We’re buying a house. For the first time I’ll get to pick what type of hardwood floors I want, the color of the carpet and whether I want bronze or brushed nickel fixtures in the bathrooms. It’s pretty exciting. I’ve spent thousands of minutes on Pinterest finding things I want to do to each and every nook and cranny to make this new house a home.
But, I know something quite a few don’t’understand -unless the Lord builds my house no work I do will matter. He is what will turn the cement and bricks into a soft downy nest for my baby chicks.
Years ago, our family was having a garage sale. Each one of us were buzzing around in different directions when I noticed a woman on her morning walk. I didn’t know her personally and we exchanged smiles. Then she stopped. She turned and faced our home. It seemed a bit awkward. So, I took a few steps toward her, “Good morning.” I smiled again.
She looked at me and paused. “You’re a Christian family aren’t you?”
Well, that took me aback. “Yes. Yes we are.” I stepped even closer to my guest and will never forget the words she shared next.
“I can feel the Holy Spirit here.”
I have received kind words over the years about the warmth of our home, the hospitality we give others and even been complimented on my creative gift of decorating on a dime. Yet, Paul and I’ve always known what people “felt” in our home wasn’t conjured up by comfy pillows or scented candles. They were in the presence of Christ. When we surrendered our lives to Him he not only came into our hearts but took up residency in our home. Which made this woman’s words sink deeper than any others and confirmed what we knew to be true.
We lived in that home many more years. When God moved us out of California we prayed for renters who would understand the importance of our special dwelling place where the Holy Spirit was our constant companion. Our future renter emailed me before we even had a chance to advertise its availability.
Our tenants use our home not only as their sweet sanctuary place but also as a place of ministry. Women needing refreshment from heartaches and hurts come to be loved on and served. What a joy it is to know the Holy Spirit is still a welcome presence there.
For now, our house is still a dream. I can walk on the land and envision where it will stand. Yesterday, I had to drop off some loan documents and had a chance to stand on holy ground—the place where we will once again dedicate a tiny spot where the Lord will reign.