Hello everyone. Rob here.
We’re getting some renovations done on our house. For years we have struggled with it being too small in parts, too cold in parts and it not quite working for how we actually live our lives. The renovations will make the house larger but also more efficient and functional. By signing up we will be making our lives more complicated for a short time in order to simplify our lives in the long run. We will spend an uncomfortable amount of money now so that our house can hold its value for longer and save us money in the longer term. It’s a metaphor for life. So often life feels like it’s taking more from us than we can afford to give. Yet, faith asks us to believe that God is in the uncomfortable and the messy and making something that’s beautiful, durable and functional. I love the image presented in the book, The Shack, of the Holy Spirit joyfully weaving messy strands into a glorious tapestry. A song lyric that resonates with me is this one from the Casting Crowns song, Just Be Held;
Your world’s not falling apart
It’s falling into place
In the spiritual life dying always precedes rising. Dying is a messy business. When you think about how deeply attached we are to our way of doing things then you can start to see why. To start dying to the old, the old has to stop working for us. It gets in the way. I remember a time when my way of living in the world was stopping our marriage from working well. Something had to change. Perfection was not achieved, nor was it the goal, but I died to the old and came alive to a new way of being. It wasn’t a one-off. Dying and rising is how we live when we follow Jesus.
Don’t you want your anger to die? Your fear, stress and anxiety? Your tendency to hide when things get hard? Or, conversely, your desire to control everything and everyone around you? What about your self-righteousness, your self-preservation or your selfishness generally? I’m sure you can name the things you want to get rid of in your life fairly easily. What makes it hard is that we don’t know or can’t imagine what the new looks like. We know how to live with the old.
In our renovations we have handed control to an outside company. They came back with a plan that we would never have thought of if left to our own devices. They were experts and knew better than we did. We will now partner together to bring it to fruition. So it is with our life in God. He knows better. He has a better plan than anything you can imagine. You need to give him free rein so he can truly reign in you. Your life may not make much sense for a while but, trust me on this, the tapestry is being woven, the building is being constructed and the garden is coming to life. God is at work already in you. It works better when our ego is not in his way! Remember Romans 6:10-11,
When Jesus died, he took sin down with him, but alive he brings God down to us. From now on, think of it this way: Sin speaks a dead language that means nothing to you; God speaks your mother tongue, and you hang on every word. You are dead to sin and alive to God. That’s what Jesus did. (The Message)
Your life’s not falling apart. It’s falling into place. So die to sin and ego. Come alive to God and his Spirit and his wonderful tapestry that is your life in him.
Grace and peace.