Here's a 1970s-era photo of our house:
Isn't that ugly and sad? I'm sure that whoever lived here at the time thought that sun room was just groovy, but I'm thankful that a later owner chopped off the greenhouse and replaced the front deck. Someone before us put a lot of effort into a major interior remodel, as well. They moved the stairs to the basement, opening up the space down there to make it nice and modern. Although it looks like the budget ran short, they scraped up enough to install new kitchen cabinets and make new bathroom cabinets too.
Fast forward to here and now. Thanks to an inheritance, we've replaced the flooring in the main living areas. New vinyl in the kitchen looks superb, and we picked out a very nice carpet for the living room and hallway. It's wonderful to have such beautiful floors!
Before we ripped up the old carpet, I wondered whether we might possibly have hardwood in at least part of the living room. After seeing that sun room addition, and knowing that the front door has been moved, I figured that some of the original floor had to have been replaced. But what if we had a nice section of hardwood? Wouldn't that be something?
The day of the rip-up came. I was at work when the process started, and didn't hear anything about the progress. Guess what? WE HAVE HARDWOOD! Guess what else? IT'S COMPLETE! The whole living room and all the way down the hallway is original oak! And there's a gorgeous green slate hearth, too!
This floor is 48 years old, but when we're ready to tackle the mess, we can restore it to its full luster! I love old, I love original, I love natural materials. I love my house!
This made me think about endurance. Oak trees are sturdy. Oak lumber is strong. That floor was made to last. Even though it's been covered and stapled and walked on for many years, it can be made beautiful again because only the surface has changed. That's how I want to be.
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be complete, lacking in nothing.
Okay, I have never been known to cheer about facing a new difficulty. In fact, I've always been susceptible to depression and I tend to think too much about the negative things in my life. But, the truth is, I know that God has allowed discomfort and sadness and obstacles to affect me for His good and His glory. May I, like that hardwood floor, stand the tests of time so that my heart may shine all the more brilliantly for Him in the end.