this is a post by my beloved wife Grace
I never knew how much space my 7 month old daughter, a little 15 lb-er can take up. And of course this is no fault of mui mui (Cantonese for little sister) who is content with water bottles and plastic cups as toys, but the first time mom who wants to give her everything she can to make up for not being able to stay with her during the workday. These weeks I felt myself easily irritated with the constant mess in our one room apartment which seems to have no space to even sit down. Our couch is the new parking spot for all of our folded laundry, our living room is mui mui’s crawling space, and our place is constantly filled with dust.
So I took it upon myself to start looking on Craiglist for a two bedroom apartment that we kept speaking of renting but never did. I came upon this post that looked to be an exceptional deal and asked Sam if we can go take a look. That day I felt very uncertain of whether the Lord wanted us to look at it because it was such a late appointment that ran into Mui mui’s bedtime and the rent is so much more than our current place but the morning of the scheduled date, I felt peace in going.
My first impression once I walked into the condo was…wow… this is so nice. It has the washer and dryer in the unit as promised, my one requirement of the new place. Not only so, the place is big and relatively new, and it looks like a place that can be kept clean easily on the third floor where dusty bunnies are hard to get to unlike our current apartment. And not to mention, this place has a golf course view… All in all it was perfect with just one shortcoming of limited visitor parking which we would really like to have for opening our home for meetings. My heart got lifted up after looking at the place, and I kept saying to the Lord, I really want this.
Two days later, Sam got the email from the landlord who gave us the bad news. Even though I told Sam I was just a little bit disappointed knowing that this is God’s sovereignty, inside I knew I was comforting myself and I was really disappointed. I asked the Lord why, and I felt like he said to me I will give you something even better, this is just to let you see what your standard should be.
The next day I thought, okay, so I will just take that as a promise and go all out with my search then. So of course I took matters into my own hands (my biggest weakness), got a little hesitant okay from Sam, and started searching. On the same day, I emailed four places. We ended up looking at three places, and I wanted to apply for all of them even though they weren’t that good. By the end of the day after the third place we visited Sam was exhausted, he told me frankly that I would never be happy in the place we just saw even though there was a washer and dryer. He was right, but I got angry with him and gave the silent treatment as we drove home and was denying the fact that he was right because of my pride. I thought it through long and hard as I put mui mui to sleep and do the rest of the chores to prepare for the next workday. The Lord reminded me of the children of Israel’s account I read two nights ago when I couldn’t sleep thinking what I would do to prepare to move into that really nice condo. After Moses went up to the mountain to be in the Lord’s presence, the children of Israel got so antsy thinking that their leader has disappeared and told Aaron to make something for them to worship. They took matters into their own hand and settled for anything even though they have seen what our almighty God could do for them. Isn’t that what I did?
So I told the Lord, I know you said it would be better, so when should I start looking then? I felt God respond saying that when I think I have cleaned our apartment up then I can start looking. I asked again, could I just look at the craigslist before now and then just so I don’t miss out on any good deals? The Lord reminded me of Sundar Singh’s experience of waking up next to a cobra in his difficult mission journeys where he couldn’t find shelter in bitter cold weather. He woke up scared and quickly departed before the cobra awakened and left one of his two possessions behind fearing to return to get it. The Lord rebuked him and told him he kept him safe throughout the night so how come he doesn’t trust him enough to go back to get his shawl. So there was my answer, I was not to go anywhere near Craiglist until I felt that I have cleaned out the apartment. Sam drew the parallel this morning for me, he said that this is similar to the fact that we need to clean out our heart because the Lord can come in and make his home in us. It’s so true, we build up so much clutter in our hearts throughout the years; sometimes we really need to stop and have a deep clean before the Lord can enter in. So here goes my cleaning :)