*The following was written in March, 2018.*
Nearly seven weeks have passed since we moved into our new adventure home, and the adjusting has not ceased. I’m truly thankful that we didn’t take on anything more challenging, as we have dealt with an onslaught of sicknesses and health issues that have severely hampered progress on anything.
As a matter of fact, I’m currently laid up in bed, on the third day of fighting either a very nasty bug, or something more serious. The time in bed has given me an opportunity to think and pray. Staring at the boring, cheap white walls of this manufactured home, my thoughts returned to last week…
I was listening as my oldest watched a video on YouTube, giving an overview of the book of Haggai. The words I heard cut right to my core, and I could not shake them off. God was speaking straight to me through His word. I knew it.
I spent a few minutes stunned, then began reading Haggai 1:1-11 for myself.
Verses 2-9 reads:
2 Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying, This people say, The time is not come, the time that the Lord‘s house should be built. 3 Then came the word of the Lord by Haggai the prophet, saying, 4 Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your cieled houses, and this house lie waste? 5 Now therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts; Consider your ways. 6 Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes. 7 Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Consider your ways. 8 Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, saith the Lord. 9 Ye looked for much, and, lo it came to little; and when ye brought it home, I did blow upon it. Why? saith the Lord of hosts. Because of mine house that is waste, and ye run every man unto his own house. Source
In Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, the Chapter contents state:
“Haggai reproves the Jews for neglecting the temple.” Source
And a section of Henry’s commentary, which clarifies what grabbed my heart so strongly:
“1:1-11 Observe the sin of the Jews, after their return from captivity in Babylon. Those employed for God may be driven from their work by a storm, yet they must go back to it. They did not say that they would not build a temple, but, Not yet. Thus men do not say they will never repent and reform, and be religious, but, Not yet. And so the great business we were sent into the world to do, is not done.” Source
I have a spot in my closet that I’m preparing as a prayer area. I had high hopes for it aesthetically when we first moved, but that means nothing in the way of simply using this space for its intended purpose: to tend to the Lord and His temple. As my closet has been neglected for more pressing matters (hello, garage contents littering the entire kitchen and sewing room), I have told myself that I will begin spending time reading, writing, and praying, “but, not yet.“
I have been driven from my work by the “storms,” but not returning to the most important work between those storms. Yes, I must make my home a safe place for my little children to live. This time dealing with the mess after a move would be a “storm.” No, I do not need to spend great effort on beautifying my home for my own satisfaction and enjoyment.
Still more from Henry:
“They neglected the building of God’s house, that they might have more time and money for worldly affairs. That the punishment might answer to the sin, the poverty they thought to prevent by not building the temple, God brought upon them for not building it. Many good works have been intended, but not done, because men supposed the proper time was not come. Thus believers let slip opportunities of usefulness, and sinners delay the concerns of their souls, till too late. If we labour only for the meat that perishes, as the Jews here, we are in danger of losing our labour; but we are sure it shall not be in vain in the Lord, if we labour for the meat which lasts to eternal life. If we would have the comfort and continuance of temporal enjoyments, we must have God as our Friend. See also Lu 12:33. When God crosses our temporal affairs, and we meet with trouble and disappointment, we shall find the cause is, that the work we have to do for God and our own souls is left undone, and we seek our own things more than the things of Christ. How many, who plead that they cannot afford to give to pious or charitable designs, often lavish ten times as much in needless expenses on their houses and themselves! But those are strangers to their own interests, who are full of care to adorn and enrich their own houses, while God’s temple in their hearts lies waste. It is the great concern of every one, to apply to the necessary duty of self-examination and communion with our own hearts concerning our spiritual state. Sin is what we must answer for; duty is what we must do. But many are quick-sighted to pry into other people’s ways, who are careless of their own. If any duty has been neglected, that is no reason why it should still be so. Whatever God will take pleasure in when done, we ought to take pleasure in doing. Let those who have put off their return to God, return with all their heart, while there is time.“Source
My spirit is broken. Thank you Lord, for your faithfulness and patience.