A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense.
What an experience to be a landlord! We just evicted renters for the first time. They left the house in a huge mess! Trash was piled in each room, including the garage. Unwanted furniture littered the rooms, and the carpets were incredibly dirty. The filth on the floors, cabinets, and counters took many cleanings. The tenants even removed and ruined the garage door to get their belongings out. The job seemed to be more than my husband, and I could manage on our own. A sense of hopelessness overwhelmed us.
But as I started to work, I began to feel hopeful, knowing that the hard work would be rewarded with a clean, livable house once again. It would not happen on this day, or even after two or three days of hard work, but it would happen eventually if we worked steadily and consistently.
As I was hauling out what felt like the hundredth bag of trash, the Lord quietly reminded me that this is what hope deferred feels like. We allow a deceiver to take up residence in our lives and begin to trash the temple of the Holy Spirit. Whether through overeating, eating unhealthy foods, laziness in spiritual and physical disciplines or mental laziness, we begin to pile up garbage everywhere. We then feel hopeless and despondent, just like I felt when I first looked at the trashed house. It is here that we have a choice. We can continue to live in trashed homes, with piles of garbage, making us feel hopeless and discouraged. Or we can begin
the process of fulfilling that longing within for a right relationship with our Lord that is characterized by balance in all four areas of personhood. We can choose to evict that deceitful tenant who has encouraged us to believe the lies and live the bad habits. This will not be an easy task or happen quickly. But if we are consistent, we can reclaim our house, clean up the garbage left by that tenant and live a life that pleases our Father. With God’s wisdom, we can make that choice that not only glorifies Him but brings joy into our lives.
Action Item: What bags of garbage do you need to eliminate from your life to restore the hope the Father wants you to experience? Pray over this, give it considerable thought, then do not delay! Get the trash out!
Santa Clarita, California