Continuing on the “builder” series, I have been thinking of how sometimes what’s on the outside does not illustrate what’s hidden on the inside. Our first house, we bought as a sort of foreclosure – the person was about to get foreclosed on but they had us take over their payments before the bank actually foreclosed on them. It was a terrific deal for us – a great house with tons of space and potential, nice big yard for the kids to play in, truly a dream come true. We had heard stories of how it had been built by a preacher and he ran out of money when it was time to get it completely finished, but all appeared good other than cheap trim on the upstairs, nicer trim on the downstairs. We thought that was probably it until we began to hang things on the walls. We had a stud finder, and we just couldn’t seem to find studs. We pecked with a hammer and listened and used the stud finder and checked and rechecked, and we finally figured it out – the guy truly HAD run out of money, and he started putting the studs every 24 inches instead of 16! Thank the Lord, the house otherwise seemed solid, but it was a “Who would ever know?”
It reminded me of a case I worked in once where there was mold in this doctor’s house and his children just stayed sick and developed asthma and some other fairly serious conditions, so the insurance company sent in a mold remediation company. They charged an arm and a leg, took about two months while the family had to stay in a motel, and they declared the house mold-free. Then the kids still kept getting sick. The mom begins to investigate, and she tears off a piece of drywall and sees that instead of tearing out the old moldy drywall, they just stuck new in front of it and called it good!
We were telling these stories the other night at the dinner table and Talia’s husband said their contractor that’s building their new house was telling him about a little old rich lady who just wanted to build a small new house, about 1500 square feet, and before you know it, the contractor had talked her into a 3500 square foot house. After he was done and moved on, the basement had a leak, and the drain he had put in the basement appeared stopped up. She calls another contractor, and he comes in and guess what? That drain went NOWHERE. It was just a drain put down in concrete with nary a pipe run to drain it anywhere.
This then reminded me of a fiasco that happened while building my building. I had paid a lot of extra money to have the heating and cooling run on “zones,” so each conference room could have its own thermostat so the attorneys could operate them personally as the room needed heated or cooled. After the work was done, I’m in one of the conference rooms, and it’s too hot. I adjust the thermostat, and it just doesn’t seem to do anything. I adjust it some more, and it does nothing. I call the company who installed it, and they seemed to doubt that there was a problem, kind of acted like I was being ridiculous, but they came over. The actual owner of the company was there, and he pushes on the thermostat, does all the same things I did, and nothing happens. He’s stumped. He then takes the thermostat off the wall and finds that it CONNECTS TO NOTHING! He goes to the other rooms, and they all have thermostats that connect to nothing as well. I have to give it to him – he didn’t pull any punches. He told me straight up that these thermostats were nothing but wall decorations. Then they tell me it’s going to be almost impossible to give me my zones, with everything being completed. I about blew a gasket. Long story short, they reconnoitered (and wanted more money!!) and our conference rooms will now adjust individually. Every time I adjust one, I think of how they thought they could just stick this thing on the wall and no one would figure it out. Unbelievable.
And all these stories make me think about how we can look great on the outside – all made up and dressed up and in our finest garb – but we can be black as coal on the inside. Usually if we are hiding things on the inside, they will eventually get out, just like these building situations were exposed, and people will begin to see we’re not what we claim to be. We know that the Bible tells us that God formed us while we were in our mother’s womb, and He knows us inside and out. We may fool some, but we won’t fool Him. I thank God that anytime He sees something on my inside that needs correcting, He doesn’t waste any time making me miserable and convicted and repentant. Those are the times I KNOW BEYOND A SHADOW OF A DOUBT that God is real – because He talks to me, and He corrects me and He shows me who I was created to be, not who I was acting like…..
My name is Teresa Evans. I am a wife to Tom, a retired Circuit Judge, and I am a court reporter by trade, a mother by God's grace and a lover of Jesus Christ. I've grown up in a family blessed with many miracles, and have received multiple miracles myself.