Real estate, White flags, and Jonah

In 2005, Tim and I bought a big ole tri-plex that in so many ways we really have no business owning. At the time, banks were giving mortgages to anyone who was breathing, with little to no money down and interest free, if you agreed to the “adjustable” terms of that loan.  We were arrogant and stupid enough to agree to these terms. I remember when we closed on the place, one of the guys at the table said, “Just wait, that place is going to be worth a million dollars in a couple years because this neighborhood is so hot.”  When we drove away from that closing, I wanted to roll down my window and start waving to everyone, blowing a few kisses, because I felt so smart, soon-to-be rich, and powerful for scoring such a great deal.  I’ve heard a phrase that says, “Experience humility today before you experience humiliation tomorrow,” and wow, did we get humbled!  A couple years later, the market changed, and we had a $700/month increase in the mortgage, and we could no longer re-finance it! I was scared and overwhelmed. Our options for help were limited. I turned to God.

I had prayed about our decision when we first bought the house.  But, I really prayed when the bottom started to fall out!  I prayed more fervently, more honestly, and more desperately than I had during the early decision-making process. 

I think my story is fairly common. We usually pray the most when things are the worst, or when we have nothing else to do, or when we have no where else to turn.  

This Sunday, we are continuing our new series called “White Flag: a study of the book of Jonah.” White flags are the universal symbol for surrender. This week we’ll look at Jonah’s prayer of surrender from inside the belly of the great fish – when he had no where else to turn and nothing else to do.  It’s a whale of a tale, and I hope to see you there.


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