I don’t think I ever fully grasped the metaphor of building a strong foundation until I saw roadways & homes lifted and shifted right off of their stakes in a flash flood this past week in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.
In the tragic and tumultuous times when life feels unsettlingly fragile, I felt it was all the more reason for a heart-check of my own ‘grounding’, too. [Road-trips, getaways, & good conversation also have a way of providing ample time for self-reflection].
Lately, I find myself questioning the things I’m passionate about and feel called to do, repeating the phrase, “Who said?” — i.e: Who said you had permission to do that? Who said that’s how you should do it? Who said what you have to offer is any different? Who said those are your shoes to fill? Who said that was your trail to blaze? Who said the time was now?
[It goes on.] I start wondering, “Who have I been listening to?” Is my blueprint drawn by the hand of God? Myself? Or based off of other people?
Mainly: “Is the foundation of my work built upon His divine purposes, or crafted on top of mine?”
Periodically, I think these questions are a good & even necessary thing. They can help us return to the path we originally set out on in the wilderness [Deuteronomy 2:3], allowing ourselves to honestly assess where we’ve maybe gone astray.
But no matter how we answer the above questions, I do know that all the calculating, second-guessing, wondering, & anxiously awaiting is not from God. He doesn’t stutter & He’d never, ever invite worry into our lives. In fact, He invites us to cast them all on Him [1 Peter 5:7, Psalm 55:22].
If we’re not careful, we can cause our own flash floods. When the current of life starts dragging us down we have to keep our hearts and emotions as still as possible [Psalm 46:10]. We have to let God lead.
When I’m not sure about things, when I am sure about things, and when I’m somewhere in between—now, maybe more than ever, I’m intent on being patient, letting God lead, and not willing myself through the building process.
Commit your works to the Lord, and your plans will be established. [Proverbs 16:3, ESV]
I know my ‘work’ as a temporary, independent contractor is no match for his ever-lasting, collective architecture. This job called life isn’t an overnight project, it’s the gift that keeps on giving. It’s a slow sanctifying process.
He causes the growth & development. He builds to withstand it all. He takes the bird’s-eye, drone-cam view and looks down from a vantage point that makes sense of all the senseless, scattered ruins.
He helps us rebuild roads and bridges and reconnects power lines when it feels like they’ve been severed. He takes what’s devastating & disheartening and brings the assurance, “I have something more reserved for you.”
Just as a true builder lays a foundation, He starts at the bottom and works from the inside out. So it is with our hearts. When the power goes out, we have to relight the fire of His truths & camp out around it.
We have to go back to the heart of worship. The dialogue of constant prayer. Meditating on His word. Asking him to tune our ears, eyes, hearts and lips to His designs; and let go of the doubt and despair that plagues us without it.
He is THE leader, builder, redeemer, and restorer of our dreams, desires, & visions. We get to worship. Not only with our songs, but through the handiwork of our lives.
We will always withstand the weather and the wreckage when we’re more concerned with Him at work in our own mind, body, heart & soul than we are with tearing ourselves & other’s down. Our contributions to the world around us will become a natural outpouring. We cannot get the latter without the former – at least not in a way that really breathes life & fruit into the spirit.
Sometimes it feels like we’ve built this great, big house, and He comes in and tears it down. Yet, He never does so without the promise of building something greater and inviting us to be a part of the process. We’re more than a project in His eyes. We are participants of His divine Creation.
It’s almost harder to be still and silent when we can be active and noisy. But a life more aligned with and led by the Holy Spirit is the one that lives loud.
Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. [Colossians 2:7, NLT]
Will we be salt & light and in a desperate world? Are we willing to see where we’re drawn roots that need to be uprooted, in order to plant down stronger? Will we drain ourselves of selfish ambition in favor of faithful worship?
NEVER MISS A WORD
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