Thursday, 16 May 2013

Extending my house

We have recently had an amazing extension on my house, which has given us a third again on the space in our property. I'm not sure if it is just the effect that having order and routine again has had on us as a family, or if it is just having a place and space to put things, but I really feel it has transformed our lives in the brief two weeks we have enjoyed it!

I did not enjoy at all the dust, dirt and grime that came with the demolition and rebuild. I did not enjoy at all the uncertainty that came with changing completion dates (although I did very much enjoy and am very grateful for the amazing hospitality and generosity that our families and church family offered us in the difficult swop over period!)

I have also enjoyed very much the process of getting our new rooms ready for habitation and deciding what is going where; organising storage and working out the best way to fill (or not fill!) space. I have enjoyed watching and benefitting from my father in law's ability to put up shelves and see where things would fit best.   However, in all this, I wonder if I have started to think - "what on earth did we do before?" "I can never live again without the space and the things I have arranged as they are". After over a month of frantic and constant activity of trying to create a perfect (although often in my mind I just say 'liveable in'!) house I fear my eyes and heart have been removed from where I will find fullness of joy. I have been reading Psalm 16 and realising that verse 6 'the lines have fallen for me in pleasant places, indeed I have a beautiful inheritance',
have become in my mind about the things God has given me, rather than about Jesus, God given to me himself. 

It has been easy for me to find (or think I will find when everything is finished!) the fullness of joy in the completion of and the space in my house, rather than in God himself. The boundaries for me have fallen in pleasant places - I am constantly grateful  for the family and stuff that God has given to me. But fullness of joy is not to be found in these things (as soon as my rooms are painted, they become scraped; as soon as I have found a place to store everything, there will be something new that doesn't have a home) - it is in God's presence that fullness of joy is to be found. 

There is nothing wrong with me being excited, grateful and joyful about my new extension. God has given me good things - but they should lead me back to worshipping and falling in love again with the Jesus who has given me life and freedom - rather than becoming in themselves what I take refuge in (v 1) or where I can find the path of life (v 11). They should lead me to thinking about how I can use these things to worship God and serve and love others - for indeed without Him I have no good thing!