I hated to see it go. I thought of it as kind of historic, that old outhouse which had become a shed long before our time here.
But he said it had to go. It just wasn’t worth trying to fix up. The the siding was shot, the roof crumbling, and the poor thing listed a bit to the right.
A little paint wasn’t going to help this sad relic.
So he set to it.
And his words proved even truer than he knew—once he got beneath the surface…
I took some photos when he started in. First he peeled off crumbling roof tiles. Bit by bit.
Then the siding, piece by piece.
This was going to take a while, I thought. So I didn’t hang around long by the window.
I had other things to do, I could check back later…
When I did…
It was gone!
Seems it had no bona fide framework! Just two rectangles of two-by-fours, at base and top, with everything else just stuck on. All he had to do was hook up the tractor and pull. Down it went like a collapsing cardboard box—because it wasn’t much more than that!
The wonder is that it stood there all those years. No foundation. No upright studs. Just a couple little flimsy outlines of existence.
Kinda like the faith life of some of us. Held together by the grace of God alone.
We need a foundation. Dug deep is best. Most of us know that. (Luke 6:47-49)
But we also need some practical structure to our spiritual lives, fastened tight to that foundation…
My last post spoke of our need to let God be God in our lives and do the transforming work on our souls that only He can do. But that doesn’t mean pray a flippant, “Jesus, it’s all Yours,” and then folderol our way through our days, years, and lives—flying off with every wind of whim, impression, or earthy trend that happens to blow by.
We need to allow Him to work, not only by taking our hands off what’s His job alone, but also by “preparing the way” for Him to do it.
Which brings me to the dirty word I was thinking of adopting as this year’s theme word:
Wait, stop! Don’t click off! This is important!
It’s not everything. Not what should take the place of God’s work. But it is essential to Him having room to do that work.
For example, His holy Spirit settles His word into our hearts, illumines it, brings it to pulsing life. But only if we take the time to read or listen to that word, take it in so He has something there to illumine and enliven. He works through prayer—but only if we take the time and effort to pray supplications, give thanks and praise, fellowship with Him, and intercede for others! And the same is true in many areas. Thus the value of allotting times, adequate times, for things like Bible reading and reflection on it, and prayer in all its multi-dimensions.
For me, my big spiritual need and desire right now is increasing discernment. Discernment of His presence with me, of what pleases Him and keeps me in sync with Him, connected, empowered, and guided—of what hinders or alienates me from that kind of ongoing relationship, of the difference between the good and the best, most eternally blest.
So, in a coming post, “A Framework for Spiritual Discernment.”
Meanwhile, may God bless you with a well-built new year!