"And Jesus said, take up your cross and follow me..." (paraphrased from the Gospels)
I was thinking about this verse and realized that it doesn't say, take up your job and follow me, or your possessions or your money or even something as important as your house. It says cross.
Several weeks ago, we began to sense God's leading on our hearts to sell our house. We feel that as our first step in following God's will for our lives right now, the sale of the house is number one. After that, we don't know for sure. We're looking into moving to Lincoln in a poor neighborhood in order to reach out to local people around us. If that happens, great. If it doesn't, well great too. Of course, if the house doesn't sell, we won't be going very far.
I thought everything was going to be easy about this decision because when we talked about selling, both Toby and I shared such peace. We even had the house appraised by the realtors and still peace. We started working on the projects that needed to be done in order to sell the house and still I had that warm and fuzzy feeling that you get when you know you're in God's will. Then we listed the house last night and I could feel my hand wrapping tighter around my earthly dwelling. So tight that I wanted to say, "Wait! I'm not ready for this!"
So much for warm and fuzzy feelings... obviously God's peace is not always tangible in a physical feeling. And not only that, but feelings come and feelings go and feelings are deceiving. Jesus didn't say, "take up your cross and follow your feelings." I'm so glad too.
While walking through the house last night before bed, my eye caught a glimmer of the for-sale sign out front. I hadn't seen it yet. Actually, I didn't even know the sign was up yet.
I stood in the darkened porch, gazing at the sign. It makes my house feel impersonal, not a home. It makes it feel like a piece of property, not my little nest. It makes my house a gazing stock to anyone that wants to look at it, inside and out. It makes my house not mine anymore.
And then I realized that this house isn't my house, it's Gods. I don't own my house, I live in God's. Anywhere I go with God makes it so all "my" things are His. What a wonderful insurance policy.
And that's what makes a house a home. Not the sweat equity, the homemade curtains, the tastefully painted walls, the warm aromas or the new carpet. God makes a house a home.
I told God in my heart that if He wants us to sell His house, then we'll sell it. If He doesn't want us to sell it, then make that for-sale sign obsolete.
Now that I realize we're selling "God's house," I don't feel so bad anymore. And now that I put down "my" house, and picked up my cross, I think it might be easier to follow God. Because houses are heavy things to carry when God asks you carry something else instead.