Jill and I have this dream, you see. We picture ourselves with a 100+ year old farmhouse, on a small piece of land, maybe two or three acres. There is the requisite barn out back, a white picket fence around a part of the property, a large porch with a swing and rockers, and neighbors houses in the distance. Of course, inside the house is this mix of old and new. All of the original wood trim is still there, and the house has a beautiful banister staircase leading to the upstairs bedrooms. There is a large dining table you pass on your way to the kitchen, which always smells like cookies. But there is a modern HVAC system, new carpet, a modern kitchen, and modern bathrooms. We have discussed this house, designed this house, and dreamed of this house for years upon years; long before we actually moved to Indiana.
Once we moved here (almost seven years ago), we thought we would surely find this house, without too much effort. We’ve looked on and off for years. Every so often, we cruise through the realtor’s websites, looking for potential matches to this dream. And, every so often, we find a picture that is intriguing. On the rarest of occasion, we will actually go tour the house. We don’t want to burn a realtor’s time, so we try to be careful not to jump too quickly.
But on that rare occasion that we find one close enough, we will go and look. We get our hopes up. It is really close, and we can see all of the changes that we can make and accomplish. Jill will sketch out a diagram for me, since I am visually impaired with this stuff. It looks good. Great even. It’s a real possibility. Then my role kicks in.
I have to sit down and figure out a rough budget for the overall cost. We add in the cost of the house, the move, the demolition, the construction that we can do, the construction we’ll have to pay to have done, the time given to the project, and unforeseen costs. Then we laugh. Then we sigh. It’s too much, it’s beyond our scope. We turn and walk away.
We went through this process again recently, and it got me to thinking. What if God did a cost analysis on me? What it takes to create me, sustain me, hold me together. What if He factored in the cost of rehabbing me; you know, the demolition of the rotted out parts of my life, the reconstruction and healing He’ll have to do, the time He will have to invest? Will it be worth it? Will He end up with an upside down investment, with more put in than He could ever get out of me? He would have walked away years ago.
But He doesn’t. He’s one of those who you wish you could be. God has more resources than He could ever run out of. He can invest in me not for what He will reap in return, but simply because He wants to. He can build into me with the finest of materials, without a thought about what will come of it. He loves to pour into my life simply because He is generous, giving, loving, creative, and beautiful. Of course, I will respond with love. And praise. And worship. What else would my heart cry out for when it sees His goodness? But it will never equal the investment. You see, God doesn’t just invest sweat equity into us, He invests blood equity. He gives us Everything. What a horrible investment, if you are looking for a return.
But then, He empowers us to do the same. We can invest in others, with no hope of their ever living to give us back what we give them. It’s a struggle near and dear to me right now. I am watching some who I care about deeply, and have poured much prayer, love, and time into just walk away. It hurts. But God reminds me of the greater investment He continues to make in me. And in them. So, I won’t quit, I won’t give up, I will continue to invest in others.
I want to call you to do the same. Make great investments in the lives of others. Give yourself and your resources to those around you. You will lose it all sometimes. It’s okay. He never stops pouring back into us. What else would you invest your life in?