If only things stayed as they started, maybe life would be different. Easier. As I write about our cottage, I am reminded of the first days here as we swept and painted the front room. We overlooked the worn sheet rock, the overhead light with a missing globe or the peeling trim. We owned a piece of Charleston history, and we only had dreams of what it could be. Greg bought a paint sprayer and sealed everything in that front room, our new home base for months to come. The dry walls drank in the paint. A carpet was spread. Our furniture was placed. And our house plans opened revealing the dream of what we hoped would be an old, new house. We just had not idea of the struggle that was to come.
Consider Jesus and His disciples.
“Come I will make you fishers of men,” Jesus said. And they dropped their nets to walk by his side, filled with expectation and excitement. This is the day they are free from the drudgery of lowering the nets and having no catch, a day when they might be free from Rome who plundered their goods and enslaved their people. Jesus had come to save them. This is all they needed to know.
Then reality hit. There were soldiers in Gethsemane, a charge and scourging from Pontius Pilate, and a heavy burden of a cross on the way to Golgotha. This path was so unexpected. And in the end, it would cost the disciples everything, even their most beloved Jesus. Thankfully, it’s not how the story ends. Jesus’ sacrificial death and resurrection brought salvation for all mankind. Life is about this type of sacrificial love.
Consider the sweet beginnings throughout our lives: A new city, a new job, a first marriage, a newborn child. They come with promise of a clean slate and the hope of what could be. Know this, reality will hit. Expect it and prepare you’re thinking. The path will be filled with the daily grind, loneliness, misunderstandings, and tiresome work. Press on with the hope a new city will become a community, a new job, a lasting career, a first marriage, a legacy of family, a newborn child, a thriving adult. Life is about sacrificial love. It is what is required for anything lasting and worthwhile.
If we had known what this house reno would require of us, I am not sure we would have taken the leap, especially at our age. Yet I already see that this renewal has brought promise and hope to our community, our family, and even our city. My prayer is our sacrifice of love in all aspects of this house will bless the lives of those who cross the threshold to shelter here. Are you in the midst of struggling to live sacrificially. It doesn’t always come naturally, there will be pain and frustration involved. Take heart, know this struggle is part of anything worthwhile.