Sweetwater Presbyterian

Small in size, Big in Faith and Love

Devotion for February 24, 2016


Circumstances aren’t always what we want them to be.  Circumstances for my husband and myself in our current mode of living are not ideal.  I have moved to a new town and a new state - where I really enjoy living; but because we own a house back in the location where I moved from, my husband has stayed behind. There are many reasons why this separation was a necessity ….. mainly my husband stayed behind to have someone in the house during these cold and snowy winter months.  
Those of you who live in cold and snowy climates know that there are a myriad of things that can go wrong with a house when it gets really cold outside and the snow piles up.  Sidewalks need tended, pipes need checked, furnaces need maintained, roofs need to be inspected.  So that became my husbands job (while I get to stay in the balmy south......)
The husband was also tasked with doing the final clean up and repairs of the house as it sits on the market to be sold (Need a house?  We will make you a good deal!)  You know how you live in a house for a while and you get used to all the little (and sometimes big!) imperfections  - all those things you intend to get to some day but don’t really make the house unlivable so you just ignore them ….
And then when you need to sell the house these long forgotten and neglected projects somehow become a big deal!  Prospective buyers don’t know that you have lived here with these blemishes and that perhaps if they would buy the house anyway they wouldn’t notice them either…. prospective buyers don’t know about the many flaws that were in the house when you bought it and  you have repaired over the years.  Somehow saying “You should have seen what it was like when we moved in” in an incredulous voice doesn’t seem like the appropriate thing to do!  
So the husband is staying behind to not only maintain the house but to work on correcting those ‘little things’ we have lived with but that others might immediately notice!
And then there is all that cleaning that needs to be done.  We had a large house with a full basement which was a very convenient place to just put things - there is plenty of room and it was space we didn’t need for anything else, and we have 40 years of accumulated items - so whenever there was a “What do we do with this?” question, the answer was always “Put it down in the basement”.  And there it stayed and there it was forgotten.  
Most of those ‘put in the basement’ items were things we should have just thrown given away instead of shoving down the stairs - so now the husband is having to sort through this basement ‘stuff’ and decide what to keep and what is good enough to give away and what just needs to go in the trash….. not a job anyone wants.  But you know that old saying, ‘Someone has to do it!”  
Fortunately, my husband has a flexible enough schedule that he can take some time off occasionally from this old house sitting and refining and can come visit the new location.   Admittedly once he gets here he spends much time lamenting his being ‘left behind’ and jealously wishing he could become a permanent resident of our new location.  However once he is here for a bit the complaints stop and we settle into a routine….
That is until we begin to attempt to watch TV together……  My husband is the ‘owner’ of the remote and this is  non negotiable.  So when he is back at the old house and I am here the advantage is that I am actually in control of the TV shows I watch and admittedly he is in control of the TV shows he watches back where he lives.  So when he comes to visit, he snaps up the control of the TV and that is that.  
There are very few shows that we watch in common.  And as he watches his shows he has the habit of either silencing the commercials or flipping to another program when a commercial comes on. Both habits drive me absolutely crazy.
 I enjoy mysteries and detective shows and some science fiction - he stays on news channels and discovery channel and those shows where you really have to pay attention cause they are designed for you to think and learn something.  And it is not that I am against learning, it is just when I sit down to watch TV I want some escape - the last thing I want to do is think or learn….    So even though we are glad to be living together in the same house that TV control becomes a bit of a contentious issue….
It is the same way with God.  God wants to hold the remote for our lives and we want to wrestle it out of his hands.  God wants to guide and direct and help us make decisions, and we want to do it for ourselves.  God knows what would be good for us and what would be good to live out his purpose, and we want to do what we think would help God the best or what we think would be best for us.  
Whether we really realize it or not, we end up in this struggle, this tug of war, as we keep trying to pry the control out of God’s hands and ‘do what we want’.
We have to learn that  God knows  what is best for us and what is best for his kingdom.  God wants the best for us; he knows what will truly bring us peace - yet we want that control regardless of what is best for us.
Now I’m not going as far as to say that my husband’s control of the remote is what is best for me, but in God’s hands we will find out that giving control over to God is truly the best thing to do.