Thursday, September 4, 2008

In this world you will have trouble...

...but take heart! For I have overcome the world. John 16:33

This was my first memory verse and I remember not really understanding it at the time. Over the years however, it has illuminated itself to me in many ways. As we have been going through this adventure of finding a house, a journey in which we knew surprisingly little about, God has opened doors, closed doors, put helpful people in our path, and provided in ways we never would have dreamed.

We found out this morning our closing date is next Friday, and Isaac and I both agreed last night we feel a very real peace about this house. From day one of our search, we prayed that God would put up obstacles if we tried to choose the wrong home, or make something work of our own accord that really wasn't in our best interest. The first time we went house hunting, we found a house we loved and both felt very good about. Then, the selling agent basically laughed at our offers, so we decided that must not be the house. A couple weeks later though, another selling agent from that same company called to see if we were still interested! Apparently there had been only one other offer since it had been on the market, and they were actually very interested in our offer!

So began the journey of a thousand phone calls and hurdles. Every time we ran into a road block however, God somehow came through and provided and I can't help but see his hand on it. Don't get me wrong, there were many times I was discouraged and wondered if this was the house for us at all. But, I am trying to see all the things that have come through that certainly don't make sense in the natural.
  1. We had no money for a down payment. Our broker told us about the Nehemiah Down Payment Program (that will be discontinued October 1st) that basically requires the seller pay the down payment. Woohoo!
  2. We still had no money for closing costs that were totaling close to $4000. The seller has agreed to pay those too. So because of that, we get our earnest money & appraisal fee back at closing. ($650) Woohoo again!
  3. Isaac and I made a list of everything we wanted in a house and prayed over it before we even began looking. The only thing on that list that this house doesn't have is hardwood floors. (And that was on our "it would be nice" section of the list)
  4. The termite inspection revealed we'd need a $650 treatment...and the sellers agreed to pay it because they didn't want that to be a deterrent.
  5. The appraisal came back at $101,000, and we're buying it for $95,000. (Plus they're paying for so much!) The house sold for $118,000 four years ago, so we're hoping with some love and care and the economy getting better our equity will keep going up!
  6. The appraisal also came back with a flag requiring flood insurance because of a creek way below at the back of the property (I don't even think the creek itself is on our property). Bottom line? Minimum coverage would be $2100...a year...and due at closing. This right here was a deal breaker, because if we couldn't get out of this, we couldn't buy the house! An extra $200 a month for coverage we don't need? I don't think so... The sellers are taking care of getting a permanent zoning change so it will no longer be required at all, and if it's not cleared by closing, they will pay the premium up front and be reimbursed by the insurance agency when it does clear.
This last one in particular was very difficult for me because all I saw was a problem I couldn't solve no matter how creative I was. I was very discouraged. But God has a way of giving us peace when it really doesn't make sense, hence my earlier scripture reference. One more instance in my life where I am reminded of the validity of this verse. Christ himself promises us we will have trouble in this world. It's easy to think Christianity means a walk in the park and no more trouble, but it's quite the opposite. Christ promises we will have problems. But we have hope, and that is He has overcome the world. No problem is greater than God, and our God is a provider. It's easy to pray and wish to see miracles, amazing things and to experience great faith. But faith only exists when we have to believe when it's hard. Miracles only happen when there's a big problem. Amazing things are only amazing because they don't make sense. You can't see the dead rise without the dead or the sick healed without the illness. It doesn't require faith to believe in what makes sense. That's not faith, that's fact.
Another thing that occurred to me was this house situation is so minor. An anthill perspective if you will. It's big to us, but it's not cancer, the loss of a child or parent or friend, it's not losing a job, or having no food, clothes or car. And yet, I can't help but feel so loved by God that He would take interest in the tiny details of my life that are of no eternal value, just because He can. It doesn't have to be something big for him to care.
Matthew 6:26,27 - Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
We still have one more week until closing, and then next Saturday we go to the apartment complex to give them our 60 days notice and find out how much they are really going to require of us. According to our lease, it comes out to about $2700. Well, either God will reduce that amount somehow, or we'll have that money become available! Either way, we will trust, because all things (both good and bad) work together for good, and I believe He wants good for us.
Romans 8:28 - And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

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