Firm

If you are not firm in faith, you will not be firm at all. – Isaiah 7:9b

I cannot begin to count the number of hours that I have spent working on our house this year.  My wife and I decided to purchase a home in Lynn last year.  So, at the end of November, we became the proud owners of a house that our son and his family rent from us.  It has been wonderful in many ways; having our children close, getting to know our daughter-in-law, taking care of our grandson.  So, if I seem to be whining about working on it, don’t give me any sympathy.  All of the work I have done to the house is nothing compared to the rewards I have already received.

When I read this verse, I couldn’t help but think of the garage project that is nearing completion.  I installed an automatic door opener yesterday and now just need to clean up and paint the trim.  One of the things that I really liked about this house was that it had a detached garage.  That’s not a big deal in some places, but in the city there are few garages because of the small lot sizes.  And even though the garage was in poor condition, I knew that the rules would allow me to repair it.  I wouldn’t be able to tear it down and start over because of current zoning laws, but I could fix it up.  In December I went to city hall and got a permit to repair the front porch, back porch and the garage.  The porches were sagging and needed to be leveled and supported.  The garage needed the front roof patched.

When the warmer weather came and the threat of snow was behind us, we started removing shingles in order to replace some of the boards underneath.

Getting the old shingles off.
Getting the old shingles off.

I found a lot more damage than was apparent and decided to remove all of the ledger boards and put new sheathing on the entire section.  When the boards were removed I found that many of the roof joists were rotting because of the moisture that had been getting to them for years.  The roof patch turned into a complete tear down of the front section of the garage because as I traced the damage from the shingles down I found that the wall was rotting at the ground.  The garage had been built on wood that was simply sitting on the soil.garage

The fix for the roof began by pouring concrete into 12 inch diameter holes that were 4 feet deep.

Here is where we start
Here is where we start

A good roof requires a solid foundation.  Or as the Lord told the king of Israel, “If you don’t take your stand in faith, you won’t have a leg to stand on.” (The Message) Like our little roof repair job, we spend too much time trying to fix problems in life without taking care of our foundation:  Faith.  Our faith requires maintenance and care.  We must be careful to guard it or else everything else we do will lead to nothing.  When we were negotiating to buy the house, I asked the seller’s agent if they would be willing to fix the garage before the purchase.  I remember shaking my head when she told me that they were planning on painting it.  I have to be careful when I run into a problem no matter how small.  A quick fix can often cover up the real area that I need to be concerned with in my life.  Never take faith for granted, it is too precious a gift and an absolute requirement for solid living.

Just some trim and paint to finish
Just some trim and paint to finish

 

Author: pastorwill

Serving as pastor at the Lynn First Church of the Nazarene.

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