Although dark, this picture is a metaphor of how I feel about the decision Nancy and I need to make about a property we are considering purchasing in Lititz, PA. The picture is of a stained glass window from inside the church building we would like to convert into our home. At first glance, you probably notice the beauty of the window. The window’s religious imagery might trigger a God-thought or emotion. However, as you look more closely you might notice the debris cluttering the floor and the fiberglass insulation falling from the ceiling. Inside the window, the room is a mess.
Similarly, as Nancy and I first looked at the church building, we were struck by the beauty of the structure and the potential it holds to be our home and ministry base. We see the potential of this building continuing its high purpose of serving God and declaring his glory. However, as we consider the restoration costs we wonder if the price is too high.
Our desire is to trust God and walk in his will for us. However, at this moment we are confused. We are not sure how he wants us to proceed. Should we look at the beauty and potential (the stained glass window) and move toward that? This seems “visionary” and feels like it requires more faith. Or, should we realistically count the costs, heed the warnings, and abandon the project. This makes sense and might be better stewardship.
I have tried to draw and apply lessons from my current daily Bible readings from Jeremiah and Isaiah. These books have many accounts of people not listening to the Lord and refusing to obey him. The consequences are disastrous! It appears to me that sometimes God’s direction was logical and the people would have gotten it right if they had exercised good common sense. Other times, God instructed them to trust him in ways that appeared foolhardy. In these instances, He promised to take care of them even as they assumed great risk.
In my life, I have experienced God’s direction through clear thinking and calculated risk. I have also followed his leading into ridiculous risks. I have enjoyed his blessing during both of these kinds of experiences.
Now Nancy and I must discern whether we should take the safer path and avoid the messy and uncertain renovation costs, or take the more “risky” path and trust God to lead us through what we currently can’t see clearly.