Let’s start out with something really honest that is constantly astir in my heart and mind when I make life decisions:
I don’t know what God has planned for this life.
This life is not mine. It belongs to God, and He will do with it what He wills.
Last week, I had two conversations about whether I should buy a house or not. I land on the side of ABSOLUTELY NOT. Just about everyone else lands on the side of BUT HOUSES ARE SO CHEAP RIGHT NOW.
And buying a house isn’t completely out of the question for me financially. It’d be super-rough, but I could probably budget things out so that a house would be within my grasp… if I found renters.
So it would totally make sense for me to start working towards a house so that I can own one before retirement age.
I need growth and sanctification in the area of stewardship, for sure – but not because I’m greedy or spend $ like crazy. I have the opposite sort of problem in that I don’t give a rip about $, and I’d much rather let someone else have everything I own than think about it.
This concerns my friends and family sometimes, so they try to talk me into buying a house, paying more into my retirement funds, and, well… caring.
Retraction: It isn’t that I don’t care; it’s that I passionately believe God doesn’t want me to worry and DOES want me to trust Him. I know it’s possible to trust God and plan well, but remember that honest, foundational thing I started out with?
I don’t know what God has planned for this life.
This life is not mine, and God will do with it what He wills.
I don’t know what to plan for.
I don’t know if God is going to give me away in marriage. I don’t know if He is going to make me into a mommy. I don’t know if He’s planning for me to live in Tucson forever. I don’t know if I’m going to be a teacher until I retire. I don’t know if I’m going to retire. I don’t know if I’m going to live until retirement age. I don’t know if I’m going to live through today.
I don’t feel good about attaching myself to a 30-yr mortgage for a house that may never be filled with anyone other than me, and might just keep me from being sent across the globe/country/state as an instrument in God’s story.
Also, I think a lot about this verse:
“Come now, you who say, ‘ Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit. Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are but a vapor that appears for a little while then vanishes away. You ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.’ But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil.”
One of the classic arguments people use is the, “You might not feel like you’ll ever be old, but when you’re sixty-eight, you’ll wish you’d bought that house and paid extra into that retirement fund.”
I hate that argument.
I don’t hate it because I’m the idiot kid who thinks she’s invincible and just can’t comprehend being sixty-eight. I hate it because I’m the kind of girl who believes God will snuff her out of this world when He wants to.
Mortality is one of the few areas in life where I don’t struggle with humility. I understand that I’m a vapor. I don’t know how or why God taught me that already. But He did.
So it isn’t that I can’t imagine being sixty-eight; it’s that I can imagine dying at sixty-eight, one hundred and twelve, forty-one, or twenty-six. I can imagine dying in a recliner with my feet up, a tiny apartment in East Asia, an airplane crashing into the ocean (they always hit the ocean in nightmares), or on mile twenty-six of the Rock-‘n’-roll marathon in January.
Sorry to be morbid, but I don’t know what God has planned for me. And that’s okay. When I’m going to die is one of the few things I never ask God to reveal to me.
If God gives me away to a good man and we get married and make babies, buying a house would make a lot more sense.
Another verse I love thinking about:
“For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, with is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
I’ve lost at least part of my contract every year since I became a teacher.
But God has blessed me with places to live, food to eat, and clothes to wear that far exceed my needs.
There’s a divine trust I place in Him because He’s God.
And of course that isn’t license to be an idiot with my money.
But really believing in God – not just playing Christian, but really knowing Him – means trusting Him beyond the practical. Because He transcends the practical. Because He uses both practical and supernatural means to provide for His children.
In truth, I’m at a place in life when the practical and the divine conflict.
The practical thing is probably to make a really tight budget, tithe exactly 10% and not a penny more, and work towards a comfy retirement. But the divine thing is to be still and know that He is God. The divine thing is to give my current life situation over to trust and see what God does with it. I’m paying into retirement and saving when I can… but I’m also not not stressing about buying a house. It’s not even on my radar except in the sorts of conversations I had last week.