God, Break Me Down to Build Me Up
Updated: May 8, 2020
I feel like I’ve been experiencing some pandemic deconstruction. Like, “take it down to the studs!” How about you, friend?
It’s like I’m one of those kitchen show disasters where the pastry shell falls apart so they call the dish “deconstructed.” You hope it tastes good because it’s otherwise a big FAIL.
God is spending an inordinate amount of time, it seems, weeding out the bad habits I’ve learned along life’s way, the defense mechanisms I’ve put into place to protect myself, and worse of all, the religious garbage I’ve collected that begins to reek after days, even decades, of accumulation.
If I had just been wiser, would this process be necessary? Maybe not, maybe so. If we were just born with the goods, like in a perfect world, perhaps. Then again, Adam and Eve had it all and they managed to screw it up.
What choice do we have except to start from where we are? We can’t go back and undo the stupid choices, the reckless moments, the angry words, the rash decisions. We can’t go back in time. What do we do now the damage is done?
Step 1: Own my mistakes. I built those walls. I tore down those bridges. I constructed a house of cards.
After we own it, where do we go from here?
Step 2: Cooperate. We allow God to deconstruct us, then to rebuild us.
It sounds painful, and it can be, but it’s a necessary part of the process. Let me give you an example from training our dog, JoJo. She learned as a puppy that loud noises were a source of fear. She bolts at fireworks, barks at passing loud trucks, cringes at construction noises, and the lawnmower makes her crazy. How do we deal with that?! Much the same way God seems to deal with me and my fears:
1. Immersion – Taking away the source doesn’t help. More exposure, rather than less, but in measured doses, helps condition JoJo (and me) to greater tolerance levels.
2. Proximity – A dog trainer advised us to pull JoJo close when a truck passed, pressing her against our leg in a tight hug. Picture God doing the same to us. He never leaves us alone to face our fears.
3. Kind words – While holding her close, we speak reassurance in JoJo’s ear. She may not understand the actual words, but she trusts the sound of our voices. It’s the same with our Father. He holds us close and speaks tenderly to us in our distresses.
Deconstruction and demolition time in God’s hands is a sacred season. "Resistance is futile," to quote Jean-Luc Picard (yes, I’m a Star Trek nerd.) Like a lengthy and messy renovation process, it can stretch your last nerve, but the result is sweet.
The rebuilding, with the Architect’s design ideas incorporated, makes sense. He builds with purpose and our ultimate good in mind. Always.
Support beams reinforced.
Unnecessary walls removed.
Electrical conduits safe and working properly.
Climate controls functioning.
Clean and orderly.
Open and airy.
Filled with natural light.
We are safe in the Master’s hands. God does good work.