Not Just a Tree House

About three hours after the private funeral service for Liam on Friday, August 11, we had a dedication of the ‘Tree House’ at the home of Sonya and Horeb.

Horeb had dreamed and planned and worked at building this ‘tree house’ for months and months. Actually more like two years. At one point a neighbor upon seeing the original deck for the tree house, stated, “That is overkill. Your children will soon grow up and will not need the tree house. Why put so much into a tree house?” Even family and friends, although admiring the work, wondered why someone would put so much time and energy into a ‘tree house.’

But Horeb labored on. Never having built anything like this before, he studied, watched Youtube videos and consulted with his builder friend, Elvin Weaver. He made his own skylights, his own windows and doors. He insulated and drywalled and installed flooring and electrical outlets and even an air conditioner. Day in and day out when he had extra time he ‘built the tree house’. He cut no corners, he attended to every detail.

Finally the ‘tree house’ was finished. The table was in place; the lamp was turned on, the couch was lifted up the steps and placed along the wall. And the air conditioner was running.

And the invited guests crowded into the ‘tree house’ to celebrate and dedicate this special creation.

Horeb welcomed his guests with these words: “ This is not just a tree house. God gave me a vision to create a special place, a private place where my children can meet God. Almost every day I pray over my children and bless them. I say to them you are going to be a missionary; and you a worshiper and you a minister and you an evangelist. I proclaim life and blessing over them. I want each of my children to have their own personal encounter with God. And this room is for them to get away alone and meet God. And it is not only for them it is for other children as well.”

Then Horeb went on to say, “I am not attached to this room or this place. I have done what God asked me to do and should God ask me to leave here we would leave. I am committed to following Him wherever He leads.

Suddenly all of our eyes were opened. We saw that in fact this is not just a ‘tree house’; it is a holy place; it is a tent of meeting; it is a place where angels ascend and descend; it is the doorway to heaven.

And our eyes were opened to see Horeb in a new way, not as a hobbyist or a backyard builder but as a Noah who built an ark for the salvation of his house. We see Horeb with the heart of Jesus in going to prepare a place for those He loved. Horeb did not build this structure in response to a whim or even a dream; he built it in response to the deep heart-felt call of God.

And we worshiped, and shared communion together and prayed. Yes, we prayed. We prayed blessings on this space and on all the children and even grownups who would meet God here. And we prayed that God would raise up a generation of fathers, like Horeb, who would make assisting their children to meet God their highest priority.

For we know that unless one receives immediate access to the heavenly place as Liam did, we all need our encounter with Jesus here in preparation for the place He has prepared for us. And all our special places here, though significant and essential, are just “temporary tree houses” in comparison to the glorious, eternal place He has prepared for us. Blessed be His name!

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