Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Command to be Hospitable (regardless of where you live)

I thought when we downsized (to a home that was smaller than our last garage) my 'hospitality' days would be over. Our previous homes housed many family gatherings over the years and I loved it!  I really did! I loved the preparations and I loved cooking and baking for my family and friends.

It's obvious due to the size of our new little bungalow that we won't be gathering 30 plus loved ones into our home for the holidays. But, we are still given the command to be hospitable in Romans 12:13 no matter what the condition or size of our dwelling.  It's not a suggestion or an option.. it's a command for a follower of Jesus Christ. So with that command the Lord gives His grace and as always makes it very possible.

Trying to obey the command to be hospitable while living in a barn has revealed some interesting things about myself that I didn't know or didn't want to face.  I never thought of myself as a materialistic person.  I never thought material things were important to me or that I tied material things to my reputation. We lived most of our married life in older homes and from paycheck to paycheck. It's only been the last 15 years that things changed for us financially.  We lived in several nice homes but I never imagined that pride had set in due to what we owned.  It wasn't until we moved into a barn that I began to see my pride surface.   Our situation has brought this sin to the surface and for that I am grateful because it clearly is opposite of everything Christ represented. (He was born in a barn! *Smile*)

Recently this sweet lady wanted to come by our home to take care of some business. I had been to her house and it was a big and beautiful. I found excuses to delay her stopping by  for several times until I realized what I was doing. I finally just got it out in the open and said, "we live in a barn". Whew! I felt so much better not pretending we were something that we were not. Now that the pretense is gone I can just focus on making her feel comfortable when she visits. 

I think learning to be content with your present situation involves embracing it as directly from God's hand. We are thankful for our little place. It's a great blessing to be rent free while we wait for a determination from Social Security. I want to thrive where God has placed us... not hide in embarrassment. God promises to withhold no good thing from those who are His and I believe He has fulfilled that promise in this provision. I've reminded myself often that 'this' and all it entails is a GOOD THING.. a precious gift given from the hand of God.

Lord willing, I will write soon about the practical things I'm  learning concerning hospitality in a small place.

My friend Pam came for lunch.
(Kevin said something silly and made us laugh!)