Playing off of Psalm 139:14, my friend Sandi likes to quip that she is fearfully made. The mounting bills for the overages on our home renovation made me identify with Sandi.
By: Ryan Wick
Every time I thought I was caught up, another bill arrived. My email delivered another punch in the gut—one more unexpected invoice. Lord, did we hear you right? Were we supposed to do the extra work on our house?
My arrow prayer reminded me of the live wire our electrician uncovered during our renovation. “It’s a miracle your house didn’t burn down,” he said when he showed it to me.
We’d also found a leak in our master bath during our work. These discoveries saved us from far greater future damage and expense. Yet doubts still nibbled at my peace. I asked for perspective.
As I continued to scan my email inbox a devotional caught my eye. The lead verse amazed me:
“Enlarge the place of your tent;
Stretch out the curtains of your dwellings, spare not;
Lengthen your cords
And strengthen your pegs” (Isaiah 54:2 NASB).
You may remember how God used the example of Abraham living in tents (Hebrews 11:9-10) to give me perspective when my refinished floors didn’t match the color I’d envisioned. (I like my floors now, by the way.) Abraham’s tent living reminded me to keep an eternal mindset. I’m not home yet—don’t get your nose out of joint over something that is temporary.
So this verse telling the Israelites to enlarge their tents surprised and delighted me. He also told them to strengthen their tent pegs.
Things beyond our control had added to our expenses. But I beat myself up for the ones we could have limited, even though those expenses were small and made my kitchen function better. But this verse said, “spare not.”
The New Living Translation made Isaiah 54:2 even clearer: “Enlarge your house; build an addition. Spread out your home, and spare no expense!”
God’s abundant mindset countered my impoverished outlook. How many times have I let a bankrupt attitude generate fear? I needed to expand my mindset, not just my house!How many times have I let a bankrupt attitude generate fear? #faith Click To Tweet
Larry and I prayed before and throughout this process. I could live in doubt and fear that we didn’t hear God and He was uninvolved. Or I could trust He directed our steps, would meet our needs, and bring Himself glory through the process. To stumble upon a verse that spoke directly to my every doubt within minutes of my prayer reassured me: God was involved.
How could one verse address my tangled emotions and uncover a deeper root problem? The God who names the stars cares about our struggles. The God who changes the seasons wants to transform our lives.
What self-doubts and fears taunt you? Do you need a new outlook? God uses our concerns to renovate our mindsets and bring rest to our souls.
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Debbie W. Wilson
Linking up with: #LivefreeThursday
What a great post Debbie! I hadn’t thought about that verse in exactly that context but how perfect! I can so relate – I definitely can tend to fall into that impoverished outlook. I remember 24 years ago when we were building our house we were not exactly rolling in money! We tried to make the best choices and decisions and of course the entire endeavor was covered in prayer. With 2 small children and a 3rd on the way and a brand new struggling business we didn’t want to overspend. We chose not to have the wrap-around porch concerned with how the extra expense would affect the mortgage payments. Well in the grand scheme of things it wouldn’t have made a huge impact, but we chose not to do it. I still need Him to enlarge my mindset pretty much on a daily basis!
Debbie Wilson says
Ann, I can relate to your choice. I’ve regretted decisions we made when building our house that were based solely on saving a little. You live with the choices for years. I’m realizing “being frugal” when spurred by fear is really the opposite of living by faith. Of course I don’t think we are to live by presumption either. But God wants us to live trusting His gracious character. He is able to guide us in the way we should go. I need to renew my mind in this area often. I always enjoy hearing from you.
Nina Blevins says
I needed this today, Debbie. I’ve had a lot of self-doubt & fear lately. I’ve asked God more than once, “Did I hear You right?” One of the things He has showed me is that even if I misapply His words to me, He is still faithful to answer my cries for help, direction, guidance and deliverance from my fears when I continue to faithfully seek Him. He knows that in my humanness I may not get it right every single time. He will always get me back on track. Blessings!
Debbie Wilson says
Nina, I agree. God wants our faith. He knows we’re imperfect. He is our perfection. So glad my well-being isn’t based on how well I get things right! Thanks for sharing!
Fear and doubt can be so relentless. I loved how you processed through for greater faith! Great post! Encouraged by this reminder:)