Psalm 18:1-2: [For the choir director: A psalm of David, the servant of the Lord. He sang this song to the Lord on the day the Lord rescued him from all his enemies and from Saul. He sang:] “I love you, Lord; you are my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety.”

King David lived a long life with many ups and downs. He understood the difference between shifting life circumstances and the reliability of the Rock of Ages, the Lord, who never changes. Clinging to that Rock got him out of trouble, saved him from his mortal enemies, carried him through sore disappointments, comforted him in his losses, and humbled him in his victories. Without the Rock we might despair in our valleys or become arrogant on our mountaintops. I don’t believe anyone is immune to arrogance or despair. But even if we won life’s many battles, were successful in all our undertakings, and had wonderful relationships, we would still lose the war if we believed to have no afterlife.

How would you feel if you were evicted from your home with no place to go? Quite a challenging question, isn’t it? Maybe you have never experienced a situation like this, or maybe you feel the person being evicted is somewhat at fault for letting things slide, but the truth of the matter is: we all will be evicted from our bodies at some point in time. No matter how hard we fight sickness and disease, the ultimate sickness, death, will evict us from our bodies, come what may. And then we need to know where to go.

The sobering truth is, whether we’re comfortable or uncomfortable in our bodies – we don’t own them; our bodies are only leased to us, much like a home we rent. Some people take good care of their rental, some are more negligent. In any event, our lease is temporary, and when the lease is up, we move out for good to a place of eternal value.

Walking with the Lord, we’ve already become accustomed to taking leaps of faith. While the exodus from our bodies is a struggle, it only represents yet another leap of faith. If Jesus has left His footprints on our hearts and minds, the prospect of death won’t terrify us. Most of all, in dying we finally get to meet Him in person, the One who had whispered sound advice to us during tough times. We’re familiar with His voice. Now we get to see His face. He’s already our Friend. Now we move into His neighborhood. According to John’s Gospel Jesus once said (John 14:2):

“My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?”

John 14:23: “Jesus replied, ‘All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them.’”

We have just gone through the logistics of moving: breaking up our old domicile, packing and unpacking, and making a new home at a different location. This comes with establishing new stomping ground – finding the new neighborhood café, the nearest gas station, the most reasonably priced dry cleaner. We have been hanging pictures on our walls and planting flowers around our front porch – and believe it or not: we’re not even close to the finish line! There are still many more projects to come!

I believe similar logistics happen on a soul level when the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit make their appearance. God moving in is no minor event, and establishing His stomping ground is no one-day-affair. The reality of our hearts’ domicile is that just like any other fixer-upper that we’ve seen, it will take time and patience to transform our hearts into suitable living space for the Trinity. We are a work-in-progress, and on that note, I think God showed a good sense of humor when His Son Jesus was born into a Carpenter’s family. Ask anybody with woodworking abilities. If you have a Carpenter’s background, then you are in good shape working on any fixer upper projects coming your way. Following is an excerpt of a Construction Carpenter job description on America’s Job exchange, which happens to be of great metaphorical use:

“Job Summary

Responsible for designing, building, installing, and repairing structures, fixtures, furniture, and other items using different types of materials including wood and steel.

Primary responsibilities

  • Remodel homes and businesses.
  • Work with materials such as wood, plastic, fiberglass, or drywall.
  • Utilize chisels, planes, saws, drills, and sanders to repair and erect structures.
  • Join materials with nails, screws, staples, or adhesives.
  • Install cabinets, partitions, doors, and windows.
  • Build stairs, mantles, and furniture.”

Just picture yourself to be a run-down house the Lord wants to renovate. God is known to renew His children from the inside out, as Paul wrote in one of his letters (2 Corinthians 4:16):

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.”

The more God is welcome and settled in with us, the more we will get to know Him personally. He is so much more than what people in general perceive as the God of the Ten Commandments. “You shall” and “you shall not” pretty much portrays God in black and white, while letting Him move in adds color and depth to His profile. Just as the light of the rising Sun immerses the world in color, so our life will become more and more colorful in the presence of God.

“This old house once rang with laughter
This old house heard many shouts
Now it trembles in the darkness
When the lightning walks about

Ain’t got time to oil the hinges
Nor to mend no window pane
Ain’t gonna need this house no longer
I’m gettin’ ready to meet the saints”
(by Stuart Hamblen)