Uh-oh, this isn’t good.
We’d lived in our 100-year-old farmhouse about nine months when we discovered the termite damage. Every single stud on the east side of my house had served as a dining room for what had to have been an infestation.
We were faced with a huge project. The house would have to jacked up off the foundation, siding removed, studs and sill plates replaced or reinforced, then put back together before the house would be safe again.
All that cost a lot of money. Money we didn’t have.
What to do with a big ugly mess.
My man hung his head, looking down at the ground for the longest time. After a while, he clenched his fists and cursed our bad luck. Then he paused, took a deep breath and said, “Well, it’s got to be done. I’ll call my dad to help us.”
Lord, it was a big, ugly, mess; a tedious, dangerous job but it had to be done or the house might have been condemned.
When you are faced with a big ugly mess, you have some choices. The pathway through it for us came down to five things.
1. Give thanks.
We were thankful to find the damage when we did. For the help to fix it and for being able to do most of the work ourselves. Especially thankful the damage was contained to one side of the house.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 Give thanks in all circumstances;
2. Take responsibility.
The damage wasn’t caught by inspectors or revealed by the previous owners. We didn’t blame them. Instead, we gave them the benefit of the doubt.
We also didn’t say, “Well, it’s been like this for 50 years, it will probably be ok for us, too. We were the current owners and took responsibility for fixing it.
Ecclesiastes 9:10 Whatever the activity in which you engage, do it with all your ability, because there is no work, no planning, no learning, and no wisdom in the next world where you’re going.
3. Don’t compare.
We didn’t trash talk the previous owners as if we were better than them. We did not look at the house next door and wish we lived there, comparing our known problems to their unknown issues.
Galatians 6:4 Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else.
4. Pray like everything depends on it.
Nothing brings levity and peace like prayer. Authentic, heartfelt, scream at the heavens prayer. God is not offended by your cries for help. In fact, it is at the end of ourselves that God reveals his power and glory through deliverance, healing or simple peace in the midst of a big ugly.
James 5:16b The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
5. Trust God to make a way out, through, around or past the big ugly.
It’s not fun to face down a big ugly thing. But God … has been faithful in the past and he will be faithful now.
1 Corinthians 10:13 No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it.
God sees you in the big ugly mess.
I do not know what big ugly thing you are facing right now, but do know that God is completely aware of your situation. I know it’s tempting to pitch a fit, give up and quit. It’s easy to use the big ugly thing as an excuse to get angry and take it out on everyone around you. But don’t. Just don’t.
Find a way to be thankful. Do what you can to implement a shift. Ask for help and pray like your life depends on heaven opening and God coming down.
I’d love to pray for your big ugly mess. Leave me a comment with a brief description and I will bang on the gates of heaven with you today.
Verse for today:”Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12, NIV
Prayer: Oh Father, I hate disruptions, inconveniences and big ugly messes of any kind. Yet, I know that without them, I would lean on my OWN power and strength instead of trusting you. Be with me in and through big ugly messes and help me to do my part as I trust you to do what only you can do. In Jesus name, amen.
Our termite-free house today.