Have you ever found yourself doing the exact opposite of what the Lord told you to do? Sometimes this happens out of deliberate disobedience and other times we just get lost. Well, not too long ago this happened to me.
I purchased a home about 20 years ago that had a home office instead of a garage. The floor had carpet which was placed on top of a concrete slab. Over the years this carpet became pretty dirty. I needed to get it replaced but every time I received a quote the price was astronomical. Year after year the carpet became harder to clean, and the dust was beginning to bother my eyes and my breathing. One day I cried out to the Lord, and I asked him what was I supposed to do about the floor. He said,”Expose the concrete.” When he said this, I jumped up in sheer joy. What a wonderful idea! Take up the carpet, clean up the concrete slab, and then stain it or paint it. That price to do this was a fraction of what it would cost for carpet, laminate, tile, or hardwood. It was an excellent idea, and I was so excited I couldn’t sit still. It was an option I never considered.
Ready to do what the Lord told me to do I went to prayer and asked him to show me who he wanted to do this work. I told him if I was talking to someone that he didn’t pick just to stop it. I said, “If you don’t want them, I don’t want them.” Feeling ready to get my floors completed I went on the hunt for a contractor. I looked everywhere! I looked online, in home improvement stores, and in the yellow pages. I left no stone unturned. I was overjoyed when I started getting responses to my requests for bids. To my utter surprise, one by one, each contact fell through. Some made appointments and never showed up. Some did not have a license. Some bid prices so high I could not afford to pay what they asked. Voicemail’s went on answered; emails were returned undelivered, and appointments made were broken. This happened over and over and over again.
Though I was disappointed, there was some solace in the fact that I thought these were not the people the Lord wanted to do the job. So I went back to the drawing board. I started making more calls, and this time people were showing up. The problem was that each one said the same thing. They all thought exposing the concrete was a bad idea, and they gave me numerous reasons to support their opinion. They all recommended a product such as carpet, tile, or those snap together planks. Overwhelmed and frustrated, after several weeks of being bombarded with terrible reasons why I should stay away from exposing the concrete, I found myself getting bids on products to cover the concrete. I completely lost sight of the fact that the Lord was the one who told me to expose the concrete in the first place. The contractors made such a good case that I began to think that exposing the concrete was a bad idea as well. At one point I selected the product I was going to use to cover the concrete and was headed to the cash register to pay for it when the Lord said, “No, I have something better for you.” Thank God, I said okay, and instead of walking to the cash register I walk right out the store and never made the purchase.
I went home and waited to hear from the Lord. I raised my hands up in the air, and I said, Lord, what do you want me to do? He said, “You can do it.” I said, “No I can’t!” I said, ” I do not know what I am doing. The carpet is too heavy for me to remove.” I said, “I can’t!” Again He said, “You can do it.” Tired and disappointed with having to tackle this job I reluctantly went to the Internet and searched for videos on how to remove carpet from concrete. I watched a couple of videos, and I was shocked to find out that it didn’t seem to be as difficult as I thought. I followed the instructions and took it one step at a time, and one section at a time. Little by little I was able to remove the carpet from the floor, take the tack strips out of the concrete, patch the holes in the concrete and vacuum the floor. I did this all by myself. Each time I finished a task I was so proud of myself! Never in 1 million years did I figure I could do this. I praised the Lord each step of the way!
After finishing the task, the Lord gave me to do, I stood in my office and looked around the room. Now what I asked? I told the Lord that I was not comfortable with getting on my hands and knees and trying to install tile, or laminate, or planks. He said that he didn’t ask me to install those things. He said he told me to expose the concrete. I then felt sick to my stomach. I realized how far away I had gotten from what he told me to do in the first place. Though I was not deliberately being disobedient, I was disobedient all the same. Humbled I said, “What you want me to do?”
A few days later I was showing my next-door neighbor all the work I had done in the study to get the floor ready to be painted. She asked me if I had someone lined up to do the job. I told her no. She told me that she had a guy who was doing home repairs for her and that he was really good. Within about two days he made a reasonable bid and within two weeks we both jumped in and completed the job in one day. I worked right alongside of him completing every step of the process.
After we had put the final coat of paint on the floor, I looked around the room, and it was stunningly beautiful. It was so beautiful it took my breath away. I could not imagine covering the floor with a product. Though I got lost along the way, the Lord never left me. He was patient and waited for me to find Him.