“A time to tear down and a time to build up” (Ecclesiastes 3:3).
“And you are living stones that God is building into His spiritual temple” (1Peter 2:5).
Almost every year, Jud faithfully strips, sands and repaints our deck. A thankless job, he only complains a little when he has to do it again. We would love to redo our deck with composite materials; but with our three kiddos still at home, it hasn’t fit onto the priority list or the budget list. So, he continues to strip, sand and repaint. I’ve had friends who have built houses. It all starts the same: the planning process, scoping out land, cutting trees, clearing the land, leveling the land. Our area of Colorado has seen a couple of devastating wildfires over the past couple of years. Last year’s fire that took out so many neighborhoods and traumatized so many lives of people we know has given a little perspective on the devastation that happens to our hearts when life turns ugly. Even though the fire’s destruction happened over a year ago, less than half the homes have been rebuilt. The cleaning process, the insurance claims, the processing of if or what to rebuild, flood mitigation just takes so much longer than anyone wishes. My heart breaks for the families that lost their homes this year and are only beginning that process.
The ugly events that destroy rarely last more than moments compared to our whole lives. If we decide not to let those moments kill us, we still have to deal with the aftermath–which can take years to disassemble, clean-up and mitigate before we can begin to build anew. As Jud and I have processed through much of the ugly stories in our pasts (both long-ago and recent), we find ourselves ready for God to build us into something again. Not sure yet what the plans look like, we try fitting ourselves into various projects and causes. Sometimes we find a group that resonates strongly with us. Sometimes we just look at each other and say, “Epic FAIL.” Our journey won’t end once we get beyond the aftermath. I love that Peter calls us ‘living’ stones. Because the house that God builds from the ashes is living–it can’t stay static. His home is constantly changing as we grow and understand more and more of His ways and thoughts. Some will throw up Hebrews 13:8 at this point saying that God doesn’t change nor does truth change. I agree. God doesn’t change. We do.
Thank God, we do.
For me, I’ve grown in how I interpret the Bible, how I identify and live out truth, how I view others in light of that truth. I now view truth as a person, Jesus, and allow His Spirit to help me interpret what I read in the Bible. If I held tightly to my beliefs from 30 years ago, I doubt anyone would want to be around me. I was on the fast-track in becoming arrogant, bitter, angry and above all … right. I wouldn’t like the me I would be if God didn’t reveal more of Himself to myself and others whom I respect. I learn a lot about God as I see the pieces of Himself He has placed in each of us. I’m only a stone. So are you. None of us have all the right answers on anything. Together, God can make us a temple–a place of sanctuary, a place of peace, a place of worship.
As He builds us into His temple, as we begin to come together for His glory (and not our own rightness), perhaps we will finally have a relationship with Truth.
Have your attitudes changed toward ‘living by the rules’? Have you experienced growth in areas that you thought were fixed?