If you have ever moved houses, you know how much work it takes to get it ready to move into both inside and out, house must be painted, cabinets built, curtains made or bought, grass put in, screens for the open areas so bugs will not unwelcomly come in, and so many other things. Couches, beds, table, refrigerator, lemari (the closet in Indonesia, since there are no closets), chairs, microwave, plates, cups, and more are bought. When the final thing is in and everything is situated, you can finally breathe a sigh of relief. That is what has filled many hours, since March. God has provided everything we need and many things we have wanted. Budget was tight and God has provided. He is so good to us and we are so blessed. Through this process, God has taught me many lessons and I thought I would share 2 distinct lesson and reminders of stories in His Word that He has shown me during these months.
One lesson that I have learned as moving into our new house is about weeds. Everyone knows what weeds are, those annoying little things that spread and threaten to kill your flowers and take over the things that you plant, those little things that seem to pop up and never seem to go away and grow faster than anything else in your garden. When we moved into our house all we had were weeds, wild grass, in the back yard and we had the weeds pulled up and then placed good dirt on top of it, so that we could plant grass, good seed, in the area. We planted the grass, watered, and put fertilizer on it to get the good grass to grow, but the weeds came back. As I was pulling the weeds up in and feeling like I was barely making any progress and was reminded of the parable of the weeds, we sowed the good grass, but those weeds were still there and along with the good grass weeds appeared. We only planted the good grass, but the enemy…weeds…still appeared. However, as I began to pull the weeds, the grass came up with it, so I talked to my helper’s husband, who is a gardener, He said to let the weeds grow with the grass, because it would be harmful to remove the weeds while the grass is rooting in the ground.
In life, we have weeds and Jesus sows good seed in our lives and the good seed becomes wheat or in my story grass that is good and we grow around the weeds of this world, who are those who are of the evil one. As we grow, we are continually under attack of the evil around us and from Satan who sows those weeds. There is a huge field all around this world that is waiting to be harvested, seeds to be planted, will they be good seed or bad seed that take root? Here in Indonesia, there are good seed being planted in the hearts of people and many that follow and grow in that truth and many become part of the kingdom, but the weeds that Satan has planted in the hearts are blind to the truth. Satan is sowing lies to the people and in the end the weeds will not have life, but only the good seeds will live. Please pray with me for good seed to be planted in the hearts of the people here and for the weeds and lies that the various religions around us bring will not take root in the hearts of the people. The devil is at work here and weeds are growing like crazy around us, but pray for the good seeds to take root. Also, join with me in praying for harvesters in the field to be good seed amongst the weeds, truth and good seed cannot be planted without harvesters.
Another lesson, I have learned as we have been moving into our new house is about foundation. Next door, the owners have decided to build three extra rooms in the back of their house instead of having a yard, so we have had the privilege to watch these rooms being built from the ground up. As they build, I wonder how this house is going to stand with what seem like flimsy iron bars that sway in the wind. Then, brick is put around it the iron bars with cement to hold it together carefully laid by hand (for the internal and outside walls). After that, cement spread on top of the brick to make it strong. Houses are built mostly by hand like this and it continues to amaze me how they stand against the rains and winds that come. I have heard of many stories of house in the local villages in Bandung, they are built on strong places and other times not so much, when they are not built on strong places the rains and earthquakes come, many houses are flooded or crumpled under the pressure, because they were not built on a good foundation.
I remember another story that Jesus told about the man who built his house on the rock, a good foundation, and “the rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.” Another man built his house on the sand, not a good foundation, and “the rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” (Matthew 7) If our foundations are not solid, then we will fall just like the house on the sand when hard times come. Many houses and lives here are not built on solid ground it will crash to the ground. As earthquakes happen in Indonesia, we evacuate our buildings and pray that our foundation is strong enough to hold. But, with God as our Foundation, we can withstand the things that happen in our life. Though sickness and infections have entered in and things happening during the storms of life, we have a foundation to stand and lean on, if we have Christ. Sometimes it may seem awful and that we will not be able to stand, but God helps us stand during those times. These last few months, I have been really sick. Yesterday, I went to the doctor and had an endoscopy and colonoscopy done and found out that there was an infection caused by something. On top of that, these past months we have had house stuff, my mom being sick and having complications with her gallbladder surgery and cysts on her ovaries, my mother-in-law being sick, grandmother sick and in critical condition, having to leave the country for Visa stuff, and many things that I cannot even begin to mention. But, through it all I have been thankful to have a solid foundation, a Savior I can lean on when I seem like I am going to fall apart, a peace within the storm. Many around me do not have that peace and they stand in the storms and get torn apart. Please pray with me for these people, pray that the Indonesian people would find the strong foundation to build their lives on, one that will withstand the earthquakes, tsunamis, and storms that will come and that though the physical foundation of their houses may be built on sand and not the rock that their spiritual foundation and hope would be built on the rock. I have found hope in 2 Timothy 2:19-20 states, “Nevertheless, 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.’” I pray that the people here will find hope in this as well and turn away from wickedness.
God has been using the moving experience to teach me with weeds and house being built next door, and many more other stories I have not yet told. I cannot wait to see how God will use this house to be used for His glory. As Hebrews 4:4-6 says, “For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything…But Christ is faithful as the Son over God’s house. And we are his house, if indeed we hold firmly to our confidence and the hope in which we glory.” I know that this house was built by God through the hands of those that built it and I pray that this house would be His house and that He would be made known in and through this house that He has given us for this time. Please join me in praying that His Will will be done in this house. If you would like to receive my bi-weekly prayer updates or would like to know what is going on in our lives beside the bits and pieces you get a glimpse of here, you can e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. God has amazing things for us here, but we need your prayer and financial support.