Do you know how to build a house?
I can’t find a stud in a wall — much less erect framing correctly. But I do know people who are skilled in the craft of building. Maybe this truth is even harder for them to embrace — that unless it is the Lord doing the building, our labor is in vain?
I find myself in a place in life where the unknown in front of me easily dominates my vision.
My cluelessness and inexperience are gifts that turn me toward seeking His face every day to ask “what’s next?” But even when He tells me, my response is usually at the comprehension level of “huh?” Just like if my husband, who is a skilled craftsman, told me precisely what was next in the building process — let’s be real — I don’t even know the names of the tools we are using here, okay? Much less how to effectively employ them.
This is good place. This is a hard place. This is where I’m realizing my role is to watch, wait, listen, and hold still enough to let Him teach me how to drive a nail in place.
I get frustrated with His hand over mine so much, because this is humbling.
But, on the flipside, I can feel overwhelmed when He removes His hand and says — “You can do this part. I won’t leave you — just do what I’ve taught you.” I get the sense that He is usually standing close by, smiling, and I am usually feeling flustered, frustrated, or unsure. This is part of the Husband-wife relationship in my experience.
Now where He really throws me off? Is this continued walking-in-the-Light thing. This “running my race with endurance” part. How in this world does a *moving* blueprint work??
I keep looking to build externally, He keeps knocking things around internally. He keeps digging down deep to lay my foundation on the Rock — Himself.
I keep directing my focus to temporary projects and tasks as the primary goals in building — and He keeps re-directing my focus to the eternal — that *I* am His workmanship. His masterpiece. That *I* am the dwelling place He is building. My character — evermore like His — this is the work He is faithful to complete. This work holds eternal value. This labor won’t be in vain.
*You* are. His. masterpiece.
“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of – throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.” ― C.S. Lewis,
I am, you are, the moving blueprint, framework, building. The dwelling place that can walk and run in the Light. This world is not our home, and the temple’s foundation should not be settled on anything that will crumble, be consumed, pass away.
And in this good, hard place I am learning something I don’t quite have the right words for, yet. I am learning how to be brave. I’ve always wanted to be brave. I just didn’t realize that humility is the mentor of bravery.
That my ability to live bravely is directly related to my willingness to be taught by humility.
This definition of humility has stuck with me:
“True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.”
Thinking of yourself less.
This is what makes me brave.
When my thoughts are on Him? When I am remembering Him correctly? I am fearless.
In truth, the only times in my life I am through-and-through fearless is when my thoughts, my perspective, my heart is full of Him.
When I remember how in-control this Master Carpenter is, I have peace that passes what I can directly see and understand. When I remember how deeply personal His love is for me, I have unshakable confidence.
When I embrace humility, I am bold about His abilities.
I become brave in the building process.
Build on, Lord.