1 John 3:23-24 – And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us. (ESV)
When God suggested that we move, I wanted a house that was new. After all, I had suggested to God, "This is what You should want for us, right?" God heard, but had different, better plans.
It is an older bungalow with an attic which has been converted into two bedrooms that get hot in summer. In the winter, it is the opposite, so I keep a check on the boiler that has a slow leak somewhere out of sight.
After our holiday, coasting along as a Christian enjoying the sand, sea, and vistas, I sat down at home once more to relax one evening and watch the television. There was a drip, drip-drip, drip-drip-drip on the table right next to me as I watched. Quick, get a bucket, I thought. Rain water!
The next day, I tracked down the cause: a previously mended broken roof tile. I crawled out of the bedroom roof window and repaired it, grateful that it had not caused more water damage as it passed over Caroline's clothes closet upstairs.
I praised God for His hand on my old body and brain to get the job done, without there having been a bigger drama. I call on God when there are physical consequences of being a fallen human being, living in a fallen world that needs my attention. It is good to know where our help comes from.
What I had not expected was to be wakened a few days later by water pouring through the kitchen ceiling onto the floor. The ensuite toilet had sprung a leak and flooded the carpet, then run through the loft space and down into the kitchen.
It was a great big wet mess! Carpets and toilet all had to be ripped out and replaced because stains from the previous occupants revealed themselves through the now-saturated carpet.
Whilst I dried out the floor with a hair-dryer, I sanitized the chipboard with anti-bacterial. In the doing, I became aware of a thought from God: "Let Me remove the hidden stains of your past." It was a bit of a surprise, but I soon had an example of what He meant.
The next week, we were to run a holiday club, with 70-80 young children. I had previously left teaching because I was disenchanted. I was not happy because, somehow by experience, I could judge children and staff, and my presumptions were confirmed. God did not want that in me because it got in the way of His love for the children whom I was to meet the following week.
God's presence was evident in the playing and doing of the club, felt by all the many children and helpers working together. God was working His purpose out in me, too.
We now have a new squeaky-clean ensuite toilet and vinyl floor — no stains.
I wonder what things of the past we may have hung onto that influence how we judge — things that God wants us to let go of today.
Prayer: Lord, we may not always be aware of what impairment has been done in our lives, so we ask that You may show us anything that is unhelpful or not pleasing in our lives that can be purified or taken away by Your grace. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.
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Listen while you read: "Can A Little Child Like Me" (Lyrics)