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Friday, February 27, 2009

Got Mold? I Do!!!!!!

On Sunday, I preached a message highlighting lessons our church could learn from a persecuted/suffering NT church called Smyrna. You can listen to the sermon online here, Sunday Sermons.

It’s a part of an expositional series I am doing from the book of Revelation. A well-known inside joke of pastors is “Be careful what you preach about because God might apply the same message to you.” Well, God in his mercy, has given my family and me a little suffering of our own to strengthen our faith. We found mold in our house, a lot of mold. And we keep finding it. Mold was in the walls of the master bedroom and under the carpet, and today it was confirmed that it is in our bathroom.

Now this is nothing like the suffering the Christians in Smyrna went through, but it has certainly become a test of our faith. In order to get mold out of your walls and floor, you have to tear them open. When mold spores get in clothes and on other things, you have to clean each item or throw it away. We’ve had to clean a lot of things and throw away a lot of irreplaceable personal items. All of that gets very expensive and very labor intensive. But the worse part about mold is that it makes you sick. It is troubling to realize that the place you come to for refuge is causing your health maladies. But I thank God that for every trial He ordains for Christians to go through, He provides the grace for us to withstand it and the means to grow from it. Here are three blessings I have experienced so far from “I’ve Got Mold!”

Our insurance adjuster told us our policy would cover everything if the specific source of our problem started within the past twelve months. Guess what I found from our receipts? Our problem started fourteen months ago, exceeding our policy limit by two months. The man working on our mold remediation (which I think means to tear apart your house) advised us to just pay someone to produce a receipt dating within the twelve months. I smiled and told him I couldn’t do that, we would tell the truth and trust God to provide. Upon learning the start date of our mold problem, our insurance adjuster formally rejected our claim. Our mold specialist was so moved by our honesty (God of course moved him). He appealed on our behalf to our insurance adjuster that you don’t find honest people like that anymore. In turn our insurance adjuster using a second source of mold rewarded us on a second claim for ¾ of the cost of cleaning out the mold in the master bedroom. That was a sweet blessing. The Psalmist says of the righteous man “He swears to his own hurt and does not change.” Well that removed only part of the mold and part of the cost, but it really encouraged a weary man trying to protect and provide for his family.

My second blessing came from my kids. All six of them befriended a general contractor working on our street. When my three year old sees him half a block away, she belts “Hi, Mr. Barry!” at the top of her lungs. He really enjoys all of them. He teases them when they rollerblade past him, telling them they “can’t skate.” He really won their hearts when he started giving them treats from the 7-eleven. They all have a great relationship with him, but my point is that he is really a highly skilled and sought out contractor (one I am sure I couldn’t afford). When our mold problem erupted and the demolition of my master bedroom started, all of a sudden I was in desperate need of a contractor -- the cheapest one I could find --not a pricey exceptional one. But God again had favor on us. I called to get a couple of bids on the work, and my kids pleaded with me to ask “Mr. Barry.” I did, and I am glad. Barry by far gave the lowest bid and offered to do by far the most comprehensive remodeling.

One last story: Today, I went to my hiding place (on a semi-secluded peer at a local beach) to pray. I wanted to plead with the Lord for help from my favorite prayer verse Psalm 9:10, “And those who know Your name will put their trust in You. For You, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You.” This peer has been my hiding place for over fifteen years. And although people walk by, not once has anyone ever interrupted my prayer time. But today, a man saw my Bible opened and asked if he could pray with me. This Christian brother began to pour out his heart to me and made my mold woes look small. He asked me to read all of Psalm 9, and then I prayed for him and me. He was deeply moved. As he left, he continued to thank me and shared how it could not have been by accident that he came across me with my Bible open. He wanted my phone number because he wanted to stay in touch with me so we could share how God, our Father, (as he said), would give us victory.

Well, my mold woes are still far from over. We won’t even start to look into the bathroom mold until Monday. And like everyone, I don’t like trials, but I count it all joy that through it God is strengthening me with undeserved blessings. Having said that though, if the Scott family comes to your mind in the next couple of weeks, please pray that we experience God’s grace and love to endure our test of faith.

Grace and peace to you

1 comment:

Abiding in Grace said...

Brother Scott,

Thanks for sharing your story with us. It does in fact put things in perspective when you hear of others who are being tested just as you are. It's not as though misery loves company -- but it strengthens my own faith to hear how you are trusting firmly in our Savior through your test.

Thanks be to God for His body, epecially brothers like you with transparent hearts and humble trust in our sufficient Savior.

May your "mold" problem be used of the Potter to further "mold" you into His likeness.

God bless,