Posted by: glorifyhim1 | April 14, 2011

An Old Beach House

There is an old beach house on the panhandle of Florida, complete with screened-in porch and banging front door screen. Although eclipsed by taller homes and high-rises nearby, this house sits securely nestled against the tall sand dunes that buffer it from the beautiful blue-green waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

As I swing lazily on the front porch swing, I can feel and smell the salty ocean breezes, hear the pounding waves, and the occasional call of sea gulls in search of their next meal. This is vacation – vacation as it should be – unhurried, restful, introspective, and perhaps even a little bit boring! Yet there is an overwhelming sense of sweet contentment and peace.

How many springs, summers, falls, and winters has this beach house weathered? How many families have traipsed through the door, threw down their luggage, and then headed over the dunes to the beach? How many times has the front door screen banged, the porch swing creaked, and the sound of laughter spilled out through the windows and doors?

I admit growing a little misty-eyed as I thought about vacations through the years – times with extended family members and trips when the kids were small. There have been so many happy memories, many of which I am sure are just like those of countless families who have filled this old beach house. I am reminded of a verse in the book of Proverbs: “Through wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches” (Proverbs 24:3-4). Although this old beach house evokes all these memories in me, I realize that it is not the building or structure that makes the home. Memories are not created with wood or brick, but from what is within us. It is shared experiences – hopes, troubles, dreams – all kinds of experiences that lead to precious and pleasant riches that fill the rooms of our homes and become forever a part of us, wherever we may go or live.

Recently, my son remarked that he and my daughter-in-law will soon not have a real home. As they prepare to leave for Chile they are selling or giving away most of their possessions and moving into temporary housing until the time of their departure. However, while they may not have a physical home they can call their own, they both have many precious and pleasant memories that will forever be a part of them anywhere they may live. And even more, just like all Christians they are involved in the most important home building project of all. As the apostle Peter states: “Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” Christians are part of God’s building. He is using each of us to build up His own spiritual house.

But not only does God bless us with precious and pleasant riches as we build up His spiritual house, but He also gives us a promise. “In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:2-3).

This old beach house shows the effects of rough winds, pelting rains, and countless storms. In this life, we, too, will endure troubles and adversities. But just as we can find solace and comfort sitting on that front porch swing and feeling the refreshing ocean breeze, God is ever near blessing us with precious and pleasant riches today and assuring us that He is also preparing a place for us – and that one day we will really be home!

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