A Little Home Maintenance

"...We will not neglect the house of God."
- Nehemiah 10:39

When our family first moved out to East Texas, we purchased a 47-year-old farmhouse that had been built by the farmer that had originally purchased the land in the early 1940's. This was the second house Cindy and I had purchased or owned in our short 10 years of marriage.

Our first house was a house that we had built right after we wed in 1996. That house was perfect! It was a house that we built and designed from the ground up. We were on site the day that the first shovel went into the ground to begin to move dirt to pour concrete to lay the foundation. We picked the colors, flooring, the layout of the house all the way down to the window coverings that we had made for each window. The day that we walked into that house, it was perfect.

Our 47-year-old farmhouse that overtime became a 50-year-old farmhouse? Not so much!

Age, wear and tear and ultimately neglect had taken it's toll on every 2 x 4, piece of sheet rock and even parts of the attic which showed the scars of a fire that had apparently broken out in the house 10 years prior to our purchase.

This morning as I opened up God's word for the first time in over a week - no, sadly that's not a typo - I started to pick up where I left off in my study of Nehemiah at the beginning of Chapter 11. The only problem is that I never made it past the last line of the last verse of Chapter 10 and I was quickly reminded by my Father about the image of what happens when a house is neglected - especially one that is 50 years old.

You see our house in Grand Saline started to show a lot of lines of wear and tear. Anytime something started to go wrong, if it was not addressed immediately it never failed that there was always something more that needed to be fixed. On the surface it only looked like one problem, but when you began to peel back the layers there was always something more.

The bathroom sink is leaking? Don't worry I'll get to it. Six weeks later as I pulled out the sink I realized that the counter itself had rotted from the leak. The back of the house isn't staying cool enough? No problem I'll get to it. Three months later as I crawled into the attic I realized that the back of the house was a late addition add-on by the previous owners and had never been insulated and while air vents existed, no air ducts had ever been run to them so there was no air flowing into that part of the house. It was always something plus something times more divided by even more.

That is all I could think about this morning as that simple nine word verse stopped me in my tracks.

"...We will not neglect the house of God."

If we are not doing daily maintenance and upkeep, constantly inspecting the areas of our hearts - which is God's house - the neglect and wear and tear will definitely begin to show through. On top of this, much like the repairs on a 50-year-old farmhouse, when you begin to peel back the layers of a 30 or 40 or 50 or 60-year-old heart that has gone days or weeks being neglected and away from the word of God and time with the Ultimate Builder, very rarely is it just the problem that you see on the surface. Many times you end up having to do more reconstruction on some parts that nobody else sees.

So, if you've been like me - to busy with the chaos of life - and you've been neglecting God's house, maybe this morning is the day that you strap on your tool belt (God's word), grab your level and spend some time doing a whole lot of maintenance and possibly some reconstruction. The beautiful thing is the Architect and the Original Builder can sit with you and clearly articulate what His perfect plan (Romans 12:2) was for this house the day that He created it. No guesswork needed!

Now, let's go get some work done!

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