The House that Daddy Built
The house had been planned for her since she was only a twinkle in her Daddy's eye. Every day He would remove the blueprint from His case and admire it, anticipating the day He would meet her at the front door to usher her in and she would begin to experience all the secrets and surprises of her new home. As she grew through childhood He observed which flowers she preferred and made arrangements to have these planted in her garden. She liked sunlight streaming into her window, so He planned a re-orientation of the house so the sunlight would always greet her in the morning. He watched her crayon box for the worn-down ones, the ones she preferred and used over and over, and He had the house decorated in a stunning combination of these colors. He had extra-thick padding placed under all the carpeting because He wanted her step always to be light and springy. He found two of the most lovable, loyal, and alert watchdogs so she would always feel secure. He installed a remarkable sound system to bathe her in beautiful music. And, because she loved the water, He diverted a nearby brook to flow through her backyard and installed a delightful fountain to invite fun and frolicking.
As she grew, her Daddy's anticipation grew with her. How eager He was for the day she would be ready to make her decision about where she would live.
One morning she set out to explore. This was it! Her Daddy had been telling her about the home He had been preparing for her all her life, but she had been content to stay where she was--until now. Her steps were tentative. Should she turn left here, or right? All the streets looked intriguing to her but she knew that if she explored each one she'd quickly become too tired.
On ahead were some people hanging out at a corner cafe. She decided to ask them about their neighborhood. They spoke of it in glowing terms and persuaded her to visit the realtor next door who promptly drove her to a house, hurried her through it, and shoved a contract under her nose. Before she could gather her wits about her she found herself the lawful owner of a house.
As she rose from the chair she thought, "My, that was easy! Guess it's time to see what we have here."
The house had been painted in bright joyful colors but the paint was cracking and peeling, revealing dark somber colors underneath. Heavy drapes hung at each barred window and each door displayed many locks. She was used to bounding in and out of doors and climbing in and out of windows.
"It is time for me to stop those childlike ways anyway," she decided.
The flooring was uneven with many depressions and, when she went to investigate, she discovered that the foundation was quite weak and appeared to be crumbling at several strategic points. This did little for her sense of security.
"I'm a big girl now," she insisted to herself. "I can take care of this."
But she tripped over the loose floorboards when she went back upstairs and got a nasty cut.
The reality of what she had gotten herself into began to sink in. She fought back the disappointment and despair that was rising in her chest, though. How could she admit she had made such a drastic mistake? No. She couldn't lose face like that. She would make the most of this. She would hang out with the others down at the cafe and talk about what a great place this was to live. She would convince herself and others that she was happy. "Mind over matter" would be her motto.
The years passed. The neighborhood became her world. Memories of sunlight streaming in windows or of Daddy's excited descriptions of a house, supposedly one He was preparing for her, dimmed. The thoughts that she used to replace them were: "This is as good as it gets," and "If anyone thinks there is more to life than this, he is an enemy of this neighborhood."
And Daddy sat on the steps of her made-to-order mansion and waited.
Psalm 91:1-2, 4-6, 9-12 (NIV)
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust...He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart...If you make the Most High your dwelling--even the Lord, who is my refuge--then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent. For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone."
Joshua 24:15 (NIV)
...choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve...
II Timothy 2:19 (NIV)
...God's solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: "The Lord knows those who are His," and, "Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness."
Hebrews 12:1 (NIV)
...let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles...
Isaiah 3:9 (NIV)
The look on their faces testifies against them; they parade their sin like Sodom; they do not hide it. Woe to them! They have brought disaster upon themselves.
Isaiah 32:6 (NIV)
For the fool speaks folly, his mind is busy with evil; he practices ungodliness and spreads error concerning the Lord; the hungry he leaves empty and from the thirsty he withholds water.
Isaiah 32:17-18 (NIV)
The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever. My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest.
I John 1:8-10 (NIV)
If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make Him out to be a liar and His word has no place in our lives.
II Peter 3:9 (NIV)
The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
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