One summer my younger sister April, our mom, and I were holding down the fort while Daddy, Tamara, and Joel were on a mission trip and Paul was away at medical school. Mother was at home when April and I, working at the church, got a call from a neighbor.
“Lisa,” he said. “Your mother is all right, but your house caught fire and the firefighters are on the way!”
The house fire was frightening. Though we felt spared from what could have been so much worse, we were sad at what went up in smoke. We had grown up in this house, and it was the only home we’d known in the Forest Cove subdivision of Humble, Texas.
But when we moved back into our house, it was as if we were living in a brand-new home! Walls were rebuilt and painted fresh. New carpet and flooring were in place. We even had some new furniture. It was amazing and a gift to our big family.
Isn’t this just how our lives are? Many times we try to hang on to things, a habit or even a person, like an old piece of furniture. Hanging on ruins us. When something precious-a relationship, precious like an old baby picture-is ruined, we are devastated. We can stay stuck in the past, unable to let go. After frightening or terrible episodes in our lives, it’s easy to hang on to the frustration, fear, anger or sadness. We can become bitter. We can play the “if only” game: If only I’d worked harder. If only I’d been smarter. If only I were prettier. If only I gave more. If only I tried better. If only we’d checked that water heater…But the ifs don’t change anything. They just keep us in the ashes. They make our future, like the past, go up in smoke. Dwelling on the ifs can make your days like a wasteland, covered in ashes, soaked with ruin-or like a desert, endlessly dry and empty.
We fail to see how God, like a whole construction crew, will come upon the scene to build something brand-new onto our foundation, the very core of our lives. But if you turn to him and listen, you will hear it: the sound of hammers striking the nails against new wood, rebuilding everything in your life that has been lost, only this time creating something new, better, greater.
Excerpt from You Are Made For More!