We got a deer-in-the-headlights look from the banker who was in charge of the estate where the old farmhouse stood. We had caught her off guard, and she didn’t have a quick response, and the confusion was obvious. We wanted to do what?! My carpenter/businessman of a husband is famous for thinking outside the box and he had figured out a way to buy that tired looking two-story white farmhouse his wife had fallen in love with. One clear problem was the cracked foundation. Who would want to buy something broken? Something so noticeably weakened and crumbly and dismal. Had we missed it? Well, no, we hadn’t. He had shrugged those shoulders that so often hold me up. He knew how to fix it. Fairly simply, too. That banker, she shook her head and helped us jump through some paperwork, trying not to look too excited to be rid of the burden.
Once all the legalities were done, we got the young twenty something that Ben employed to help us tear out old carpet, a drop ceiling, and some half-hazard closets. The carpenter and his dad rebuilt stairs and kitchen shelves and a bathroom vanity. We painted her a soft gray on her insides and insulated the attic to make a new room for the kids. And that first Christmas that carpenter and the kids bought this old-fashioned mama a chandelier to hang above the kitchen table made out of glass bottles. That old farmhouse was slowly being revived back into a home.
This past summer we finally got around to hiring an excavator who pulled bucketfuls of dirt back away from the foundation so we could fix that old crack. Once the cement was patched and sealed new with waterproofing, they pushed all that earth back into place, and no one, save the neighbors, would have known.
This old farmhouse, it still carries tired parts, it’s definitely not perfect, but it’s been recently reinforced with sound substance at its core. The base of its life. The cornerstone of its holdings.
There’s something else a bit broken and cracked. Me. Especially lately and, friend, it’s a real danger to those around me if I don’t get patched. I’ll never be perfect. In fact, the older I get, the scratchier I get. But, there’s this perfect carpenter who has the perfect fix. He’s shrugged His shoulders and held up a cross and held out grace and stamped His name right across my crumbling parts. He’s working His tools to build up the life of this old girl and I would be a fool to write these public words and not lift His name up.
From the road, this old farmhouse cried “dreadful”, and maybe you’ve felt a bit like that too? Words you’ve said. Choices you’ve made. Idols you’ve erected. Grudges that have strangled. Dirt.
I don’t have to live this way. I can fall in the dark and grip God’s hand of grace. Sometimes you need your own revival. Sometimes the cornerstone of your life needs a renewing. A spiritual patch. A new covenant.
Doesn’t Isaiah tell us that we have an everlasting Redeemer? Doesn’t Isaiah remind us of a renewal of strength? Did I forget that God never grows old and weary, nor does He grow faint. “He gives power to those who are tired and worn out; he offers strength to the weak.” (Isaiah 40:29 NLT). And those of us with a broken and brittle cornerstone? Yeah, we’re the ones desperately needing an encounter with a carpenter.
I invite you, this weekend, to search scripture and know your Carpenter. Come open. Come knowing “….the Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth.” (Isaiah 40: 28b NLT). Come for a revival, a repatching, a remaking of your broken foundation.
“Everyone will see this miracle and understand that it is the Lord, the Holy One of Isreal, who did it.” Isaiah 41:40 NLT.
Love, the one who needs revival,