by M. Jolaine Szymkowiak

A Temple for God, a Testimony Times Three
M. Jolaine Szymkowiak
Haggai 2
February 25, 2008

I had read Haggai many years ago in a time of turmoil, in yet another job, after a move to yet another city. At that time two verses became like a beacon. "Take courage . . . and work for I am with you. As for the promise I made you when you came out of Egypt, my Spirit is abiding in your midst, do not fear" (Haggai 2:4-5). Though it had been spoken to a group of people long ago, it became very personal to me. I had been through a divorce, two moves to different states, death of both parents, different jobs, several new apartments and a major spiritual breakdown, only to be brought back to life through His saving Grace and this His promise. I had come out of my Egypt, and my hope was that there would not be another.

Some time later, these words from Haggai came again to mind. I put the thought aside for a day or two. Then with the Spirit's persistence, I turned to Haggai and read again the story of the rebuilding of the temple.

The word "temple" mentioned here can mean that wonderful structure that was to be re-built in Jerusalem, or it can be me, my body, my self, and my personhood in God. Considering the first – the building – What is to be my gift to my church? What will be my pledge for this year? The same as last year? Apparently, more is needed. Am I living in "my paneled house" while His lies desolate? Phrases like "consider your ways," "never seems enough," "purse with holes" convict me (Haggai 1:5-6). I live on a budget, try to keep to it but always there never seemed enough, I truly considered the fact that I might have a "purse with holes".

The second meaning brought home what I had experienced at one point in my life. I had moved to be nearer family. Even with periods of desperation and doubt, I felt the move was in God's will. In those times of desperation, I turned inward, looked to "self" to get me out of unhappy circumstance ...

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