When we first arrived in Lages in 2011, our family rented a house on a major thoroughfare that ran through town. It had taken us two weeks to find something that would fit all six of us and also give us space for holding Bible studies. It was an older style house, but the rooms were spacious and the owners had done a lot of remodeling so the walls and floors were in great shape. I loved everything about that house except one thing: the kitchen.
The kitchen in that particular house was the size of a long hall. Two people couldn’t work in there at the same time without bumping into each other. It was almost as if it had been built as an afterthought. I never figured it out and I never got used to it, but in the end, we only lived there for a year.
One year. That was all the time I had to spend in that kitchen, yet while I lived there, it seemed like an eternity because it was so aggravating to cook and work in there. Had I known that my time was going to be so shortly spent at that address, I may have looked at it through different eyes. But I didn’t know, and I didn’t allow myself to get used to it. I chose to complain and bellyache rather than enjoy the fact that I had nice marble countertops and super beautiful tile.
Do you know what my next kitchen was? One with crooked cabinets, buckled floors, warped walls and a bowed ceiling, among other things like mice and bugs. And I lived and worked there for three years. There were moments when I would have gladly traded the old kitchen for the nicer, albiet, smaller one, trust me.
The Bible tells us to:
“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2
I allowed my kitchens to be a point of contention in my life when the truth of the matter was that they were places that I only spent a portion of my time in for a short time period of my life. I allowed them to become “weights”, if you will, in my thinking and service as a missionary. What I have come to realize now, looking back, is that those were the last years I had with all four of my children at home. The meals prepared in each place were during precious times of my life as a mother, but often I missed it because I was looking at temporary rather than eternal.
Our Christian lives are to be spent lived in service while keeping our eyes on the Eternal One. He, who knew no sin, Who gave His life for us and sits at the right hand of God leading us along our way. He is more important than whatever we think our “terrible” circumstance may be. Our life is so temporary and yet we allow it to weigh us down with sin instead of running to Christ with full on abandonment in thankfulness of His grace.
Today I have taken time to consider Christ as we are told to do in verse 3 of this same chapter:
“For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.” Hebrews 12:3
Are you feeling weary or faint in your mind? Do a little inventory check and see if the shelves of your thinking are stocked with “weights”. Is there more complaining about the temporary than there is forward thinking towards Christ? If so, your weariness may be self inflicted. And Jesus, once again, is the answer to solve this problem.
Take some time to consider Him in your life. Head straight for Him in thankfulness, and you will find you will lay aside the weights that are holding you down. Jesus says you will also find rest.
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
Until Next Time, Lord willing,
READ THE BIBLE THROUGH WITH ME IN 36 WEEKS!
Today’s reading: Leviticus 9 / II Kings 15-16 / Psalm 65 / Hebrews 13