Saturday, March 4, 2017

House of Card

I had been measuring success and reward and outcome on a scale that God never created.
I used to think life was sturdy, like an unmovable force. And I’m not sure where I got that from, except maybe that a foundation built on Christ will always stand. And while that is true—that Christ is our Cornerstone—life can simply be as fragile as a house of cards.
There are two things we know about cards—they bend easily and often offer surprise hands.
And I think we tip-toe around life hoping that the cards never fall down instead of learning to build a secure foundation. If a tiny breeze can blow down our imaginary ideals in a card game, what do we do in life when a hurricane sets in?
Things do not always turn out the way we hope. Period. But that is the most beautiful part of faith—trusting that God is in control even when your entire world seems upside down. If you never encountered a moment that required faith, how real would your relationship with Christ be?
I had gotten word on something I had been waiting to hear about and the outcome wasn’t the one I wanted. I trudged through the motions of what I had to do, but on the inside I was grappling with another set of disappointments and a heavy heart about the future. It didn’t seem fair. Why does it feel like no matter what you do or how hard you try that someone else comes out ahead?
I was admittedly caught in the momentary trap of comparison. I tried to turn my focus to Christ and not wallow in self-pity. I knew my attitude was wrong, but it was a human sickness I suffered from frequently.
Why God? What am I doing wrong? When will it be my turn? Where are you leading me? What are you doing in all of this?
And like an eruption in my soul, so strong that I had to make sure the state of Alabama hadn’t just encountered an earthquake; God blew not only my deck of cards down, but the shutters and the roof off the tiny little house I had been dwelling in.
God showed me that my perspective was completely off. I had been looking at the wrong standards of achievement. I had been measuring success and reward and outcome on a scale that God never created. I was looking for approval and promotion from the world and at that rate I would never be satisfied no matter how high up the ladder I climbed or what I got in life.
In the quietest, most soul moving way, God reminded me of His Sovereignty in all things. I seek justice in a world that will never be fair. I want eternal promises poured out in present circumstances but this world is not what we are working for, living for or striving for.
Please hear my heart in this one. I have not arrived, but I want to share the revelations that God gives me. It’s a daily struggle, but we have to remember that no matter what we are going through…it is only temporary. My former Pastor, Les Hughes, always said: 1.This too shall pass and 2. It could be worse.
God sees a much bigger picture and He wants to help us in those times when life doesn’t seem fair and our little house of cards folds underneath us. Jesus teaches:
 “Everyone who hears my word and puts it into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But those who do not put my words into practice are like the man who built on sand…it fell with a great crash” (Matthew 7:24-27).
Many of us are building our hopes, dreams, thoughts, ideals, relationships, careers and so much more on the wrong foundation. The storms hit and we fall with a great crash because we judge life by a set of ideals that have been rooted in the world’s way of thinking and not in Christ’s. I think our perspective would be so different if we remembered why we have life in the first place. It is not to chase the standards of the world, but to follow the standard of Christ even when we don't understand why things are not working out how we want them to in life. Make sure you build on the rock to be able to withstand the storm!
-Only Hope-Galatians 6:9

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