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As good suburbians, we attend church, cut our lawn, and often assist our neighbors with tasks, chores, or whatever we can afford to help with.

Our neighbors have, in turn, assisted us, fed us, prayed with us, and have been like family. However, since "If a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.", Mark 3:23 , demonic pressure has entered our neighborhood in an attempt to divide us. This is a small chronicle of one trouble that requires prayerful consideration.

One of our neighbors is an accomplished handyman. Some time ago, he suggested that he and I extend the deck behind my house. We were very interested in this offer of assistance since a deck extension is not something we would hire workers or contract out given our financial situation.

Even without the added cost of labor, it still took several weeks to get enough money to rent a hole-digging auger to dig the holes for the deck. And it then took several more months to save the first installment of money it would take to place posts in the holes, the next step in building the extension.

We knew it would not happen fast, and we continued to use serial prayer to cover the action and be sure we were acting within God's will.

Unfortunately, and for as of yet unforeseen reasons, my neighbor became suddenly unable to offer his time free-of-charge. If the small portion of the deck we could afford was difficult to budget for, the additional labor charges that would double the entire cost would mean that we could only afford to fill in the holes and give up the project.

Heavens. After spending several hundred dollars digging eight large holes in the ground and waiting months to save up the funding to continue with the next step, this was a shocking blow.

My mind races as I view my broken treasure, carefully avoiding each large hole as I walk across my once beautiful lawn. I have done this for months while dreaming of the larger deck space, but now as I do it I am filled with more anger than hope.

As I fume, I beg Jesus to teach me to forgive for this conspicuous debacle brought on by a broken promise of a beloved church family member and alleged close friend, I slowly come to a greater realization.

seeking the prize on the narrow road Holes in the dirt are hardly a crime compared to nail holes in the hands of God.

So I sigh, and yet still angry, I try to envision the holes in the hands of my Lord when I see the holes in my lawn. I put those holes there by my own sin. How improper would it be for me to judge my neighbor? But seconds later, I am fuming again, "how can I overlook a broken promise when my heart is hardened and there are holes where there was once beauty and hope?", I wonder.

With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible Matthew 19:25 .

Last Updated: 2008-10-18 14:45:38
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