shifting sand

life is uncertain. be alive for any number of days and you know this. one day you’re pregnant, the next you’re not. one moment you have someone you want to marry, the next day you’re single. one day you have a father, sister, mother, brother, friend, the next day you’re attending their funeral. you expect to go to work and now you no longer have a job. you expected this friend to be forever and now you no longer speak. the uncertainties work in reverse as well. the infertile with a baby. unexpected to live with a hopeful diagnosis. jobless for years to a dream job. we are constantly inundated with situations we’d never choose, could never imagine. but what if all our hope is in the imagined things, the things desired and planned for? we are like fools. we are depressed, disheartened, disillusioned. we are a mist that appears for a little while and then disappears (james 4:14). we are simple, silly builders building our house not on the rock that is steady, unwavering, forever, but on shifting sand (matthew 7:24-27).

life’s uncertainties can be riveting, exciting, fun. they can be heartbreaking in the worst ways. they can change the way you view others, the way you view god. you can lose your faith over the gap between what you planned for your life and god’s apparent will for it.

the beauty is that in these moments, we can cling to the rock. we have this sure anchor, firm and secure (hebrews 6:19). he does not change like the shifting shadows (james 1:17). he will not budge, will not break. god is the only trustworthy place to take your dreams, to take your damaged heart. in the midst of one of the hardest seasons of my life, god is reminding me that he is my safe place. know how i found out? because when “the rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house…it fell with a great crash“. the house i had so lovingly built, decorated with knick knacks of my own making and that i had invited people into has come crashing down around me. a crash of sizeable proportion. one that has left me temporarily homeless, clinging to the wreckage. i pick up my prized plans from the pieces of what’s left and i have been trying (without success) to put them back together.

for the past few months, i have lain in the rubble. comfortable with the likeness of what i wanted instead of joining the Builder in what he’s building for me in its place. he is not building the house i thought i wanted but the one i actually need (and i’m sure, will actually be what i truly wanted after all). my sights are set too low, my faith too weak. contrary to boasting in tomorrow, in what city i will go to or what job i will have, i should instead be content to follow in his will day by day (james 4:13-15). i’m not there yet but every day i pray i rest in him more. “as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” psalm 61:2

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(for a more eloquent, shorter, and far better analogy, read this quote from c.s. lewis’ mere christianity)

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