The Battle is not Yours: God’s Lesson in a Dusty Mess


“Even good change has its challenges,” I wrote in my last post about moving into a new home. And amidst those challenges, God tapped me on the shoulder to remind me He was not tied to some once-familiar place. “I’m with you on the journey,” He said.

It turns out that wasn’t the only lesson God had in store. Or, more accurately, He wanted to drive home that point a little stronger. Here is how that story continues.

Dusty Vent
Billows of red dust like smoke.

It took me a couple days to realize that the reason my downstairs was icy cold while my upstairs had the heat of a sauna was because nearly all the heating vents on the first floor were closed. In the happy glow of this not-so-genius discovery, I popped off the vent covers, opened them to full throttle, and popped them back in. I was in business.

Until the fan kicked on.

Billows of red dust poured out of the vents like smoke. In a matter of moments, my beautiful new home was shrouded in a layer of grit that swirled from the main living space up into the loft. Everywhere I looked, I saw red.

Even some serious scrubbing with a borrowed shop-vac and some all-purpose cleaner failed to do the trick, so I called in the professionals. That’s when I learned that my magic red dust was not dust at all. It was sand. From my foundation. Pouring through cracks in my ductwork and being washed into a pool of water that had completely rusted away the area under my furnace.

Face covered in bandannaWater. Sand. Warm furnace breezes. This was not the waterfront property I had always dreamed of.

Needless to say, I have learned a lot in the last several weeks. About plenums. And updraft vs. downdraft furnaces. And how duct work runs through slab and through walls and through bulkheads. And just how much it would cost to reroute rotted ductwork out of a slab and into those walls and bulkheads.

Which brings me to the biggest lesson of all. Because as the initial estimates poured in, I knew this was beyond anything I could handle. I am counting on a miracle.

I cannot begin to explain the sense of calm that has settled in my middle, other than to say I feel deep down as though God is fighting this one for me.

“I don’t know how He’s going to do it,” I told a friend at church. “Maybe I’ll get a check in the mail. Maybe I’ll get a raise at work. Maybe I’ll write the seller a personal letter and see if God will move their hearts to send me several thousand dollars. I just believe that I am supposed to have this house, and if God wants me to have this house, then He is going to take care of this for me.”

I’m right here with you, God says.

Maybe my confidence will waver if I don’t see the miracle I expect before my bank account dips below zero, but for right now at least, I am watching and waiting to see just how He will show up.

I’m right here with you, God says.

Okay then, I answer. My eyes are on you.




Janet Beagle


Janet Beagle, Ph.D. serves as director of graduate programs for Purdue University’s College of Engineering and is a writer, a Bible study teacher, and a student of God’s word. In her spare time, she likes to eat other people’s cooking and hike with her dog, Marly. Read more of Janet’s Christian reflections at