While I figure out how to write about what the Lord has been teaching me these last few months, I share something my husband wrote shortly after we bought our house two and a half years ago. (The title is mine.)
After 25 years of renting…… the Lord has given us the privilege of home ownership. We have learned a few lessons over our 25 years as home renters. One of the biggest lessons is stewardship:
- When renting a home we know that it isn’t ours, but we need to take care of it as if it were ours.
- At some point the owner will want his house back and we must return it in a condition at least as good as we found it.
- If we broke something we were responsible to fix it.
- Having a good relationship with the owner made a lot of difference in how we treated the owner’s property and how he treated us.
These lessons carry over to our new role as home owners. First, we understand that we could not have purchased a home at all if the Lord had not made it possible. Although we have exceptionally good credit, and we still have adequate income, our status as missionaries makes acquiring a loan difficult. The right house, the right realtor, the right loan officer, the right lender… it all came together at the right time – God’s time.
We asked the Lord for a home with just enough room for our family to live, and to host neighbors and small groups; prayed for a location in town where we could get to know neighbors, build relationships, and reach out to them; prayed for an affordable mortgage and the income to pay for it. Lots of other people prayed also. The Lord answered their prayers first, and then our prayers.
Even though we are now home owners, we feel that this home is not our own. The Lord is the Owner and we are renting from Him. So, our lessons learned as renters over the last 25 years are still applicable. We have use of a house for a time, only God knows how long. Every repair and upgrade we make to the house is not just for our benefit, but for our home’s Owner. Having a good relationship with the Owner makes a big difference in how we treat and use the house. It may be difficult, but if/when the Owner asks for His house back, we will willingly return it, giving thanks for the years we were able to enjoy and benefit from His gracious provision.
How do you view ownership and stewardship of your home or other belongings?
My own comments… It is my strong belief that not only is God the true owner of everything we have, I myself also belong to Him. This affects everything from how I steward my God-given time to how I steward my body, which maybe I am not so good at. My relationship with the Landlord of Me is of utmost importance. Only in acknowledging that I – everything that I own, everything and every way that I am, everything that my Father in Heaven has given me responsibility for – ultimately belongs to Him – do I find the way to truly live – walking in the freedom of surrender to God!
…do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit [who is] in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?
For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NKJV)
Someday, might the Lord say of me, “Glory has come to me through Tess.” That is my deepest desire. (John 17:10)