"Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."
Do you know anyone who just seems to have bad luck in life? If something could go wrong it does? We seem to be in that category when it comes to home renovations. With young children, a small house, and neither James nor I with much experience, we have opted to hire contractors to do two major jobs over the past two years: the bathroom renovation, and a new roof. Neither project were in dire need of being done, but both were good investments to up the value of our house, should we choose to sell. Both jobs were botched, badly.
Our bathroom floor tiles shift, move and crack. The plumbing was badly done and resulted in a slow 4 weeks leak that ruined the ceiling on the floor below. The new roof leaks in four (yes, four!) different rooms in the house.
We spent two years chasing the bathroom contractor. We compiled our case and went through small claims. It kept me up at nights as I constantly crafted conversations in my mind of how to state my case. It was neither helpful nor therapeutic. In fact, it kept me from sleeping and only built up the anger, frustration and disappointment. Finally, after two and a half years, the judgment came down on our side and payment was received. We thought it was over.
Then, two weeks later, the roof happened. Last year, three days after it was installed, we had a leak that they came to fix (but we had to pay for.) Now there are three more leaks. Two of them are near the chimney which means they won't even look at them. But the worst of them all (which is going to require a whole new ceiling in that room) the company is also trying to avoid.
Two nights ago, I found myself once again lying in bed, rehearsing exactly what I should say to the contractor to try and make him feel bad enough about the job to do something about it. Once again that pit in my stomach started to form as the poisonous thoughts permeated my spirit.
What can we do? Going back to court is not an option for James and I. We are the type of people who can't let things go easily. If it's looming ahead then it is on our minds.
Then I came across this verse in Daniel, in my study yesterday:
"I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at home in my palace, contented and prosperous."
Yes, for the past 11 years, I have been at home, contented and prosperous. I have found my security in our earthly provision. While we may not be "rich," we have always lived comfortably with the work James has had. We have never had to count every dollar spent. We are naturally conservative with our spending, and both these blessings have resulted in security built upon treasures of the earth.
But that passage in Matthew reminded me that earthly security can be fleeting. Jobs lost, markets slow, money drain. I feel strongly that God is teaching me a lesson here.
I can't emphasize this strongly enough: this lesson is about placing my security in God, not earthly comfort. I am here to witness I am learning this lesson now. This lesson could have been taught by the collapse of our business. It could have been taught by a fire that destroyed our home. It could have been taught by fraud that wiped out all our resources. Instead, it was taught gently, through these renovation projects. You see, because of careful planning over the years, we have the ability to simply write off this contractor and pay for a brand new roof. Yes, it is an expensive option, but it would save the emotional turmoil of the bathroom fiasco. I believe God is showing me that money is just money. For all of our careful planning, these two major expenses have cropped up without any fault on our end.
Do you feel that? That is a peace that is settling on me. A peace that I didn't feel for two years with the bathroom. (Shoot - maybe if I'd learned the lesson back then we wouldn't have had to go through this with the roof!) A "peace that passeth all understanding." And it truly does. I am learning each day to value that peace more and more.