Once upon a time, my husband and I put an offer on a house that we were interested in buying. Our offer was accepted and the “fun” began. Dealing with the mortgage company, ordering inspections, putting down a deposit, etc.
One of the inspections found that there was some old termite damage. We spoke to the owner and he confirmed that they had found termites at one time. But they had it treated and everything was fine. This initial discovery didn’t bother us. We felt confident the termites we gone at this point.
But the plot thickened. The original place where termite damage was pointed out was on an interior wall. However, on further investigation, it was discovered that there was also damage on the exterior side of the same wall.
Now this made the termite damage scarier. The little critters had eaten away at both sides of the same wall. And this left us with big questions – how much damage was within the wall? How much damage could there possibly be on the studs? How much damage was there in the space that we couldn’t see? There was no way of knowing without opening the wall. The damage should be fixed. But without knowing exactly how much damage there was, there was no way of knowing the cost of the repairs.
The damage that was found took an expert eye to discover it. Just glancing at the walls, I didn’t notice anything until it was pointed out. The walls looked fine initially. But thanks to a deeper inspection, we learned that there could potentially be structural issues.
This story reminds me that there are so many things in life that look good on the surface, but can be a completely different story underneath. Here are some examples:
1 – Sin
The devil has a way of making sin look so appealing. But we have to remind ourselves that although it will be pleasing to the flesh in that moment, there will be costly damages in the long run.
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. – James 4:7 NIV
2 – A Person’s Life
When greeting someone, it is common for us to ask, “How are you?” And so often the answer is, “Good.” But is it always try? Often, we don’t truly know what a person is going through. I am the type to say “good” even when I don’t mean it. Partly because I don’t like to complain and partly because I tend to stuff things down. So let us have compassion and remember that many of our acquaintances might be dealing with difficulties we know nothing about.
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. – Ephesians 4:32 NIV
3 – A Person’s Heart
We all take time each morning to bathe, brush our teeth, fix our hair, and so on. Before we walk out the door, we want to look our best. But how much time do we spend on prepping our hearts and our minds? Spending time with the Lord each day should be part of our routine. He will help us remove any unattractive qualities in our hearts.
But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” – 1 Samuel 16:7
These are just a few examples. There are many things in life that we can say might appear quite different on the outside versus the inside. But this leads to a question – how can we navigate life when what we see on the surface might be completely different than what is hidden? Walking with the Holy Spirit helps us to have discernment. He will guide us along the rocky path of life. When we stay anchored to the Lord each day, we will not be led astray.
But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. – John 16:13 NIV
(In case you were wondering, my husband and I wound up backing out of the contract on that home. And we found another home that suited us better. We are thankful that the Lord helped guide us in that situation!)
© 2021 Bridget A. Thomas