Tuesday, 04 August 2015 20:05

Starting Over, After Collapse

Written by  Sam Whatley
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Once upon a time a four-year-old boy sat in a kitchen doorway stacking columns of blocks to make an imaginary building. His dad was a carpenter and brought home dozens of board scraps. He called them blocks.

His three brothers were playing cowboys and Indians and ran in and out of the house, chasing each other. Invariably one of them would kick over his stack of blocks as they passed by. Their mother watched this drama from across the room as she cooked their dinner. She said years later that her son would quietly pick up the fallen blocks and start his building again. This happened over and over.


The boy learned something wise and something unwise from that experience and others like it. He learned to be patient and recover from sudden misfortune. That was wise. But he also came to believe something false. He came to believe that he was not very important and that whatever he achieved in this world was temporary and of little value. That fallacy would cast a shadow over many of his hopes and dreams throughout life.


The falling blocks were not his only teachers. His father’s unwillingness to use substandard building materials and hide someone else’s faulty work meant that he was fired from construction jobs more than once. And this meant that his family had very little income. It was like someone running through and knocking down the blocks of his life, too.


Sadly, I have seen many people buy into the lie that God has nothing important for them to do, that they are not worthy of contributing to God’s world. Are you like that? Are you so accustomed to misfortune that you cannot see the opportunities God is placing before you? We all suffer setbacks.  But do not assume that what has been your lot will always be. Trust God and celebrate the person He has created you to be. Attempt great things. As the apostle Paul wrote:


“…he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”(Philippians 4:1)


 Paul started out his adult life on the wrong foot. He wanted to serve God, but his devotion to the Hebrew Scriptures was clouded by the prejudices of his culture. It led him away from his Messiah. It made him unable to discern that Jesus was the Son of God. Consequently he led his generation in dragging Christians off to jail and encouraging their execution. Not a good start for a Christian missionary. To get his attention, the Lord had to knock him down, strike him blind, and lead him into the desert for years of revelation and re-instruction.  But God made sure he could start again. In fact, God lit a fire inside of Paul that no one could put out.


God makes it possible for all of us to start again, no matter what has happened to us. But, don’t mix this up with positive thinking or “If you can dream it, you can do it.” This is not about will power. It’s a matter of faith in God, of placing your whole life in God’s hands: your money, your marriage, your children, your future, everything.


As we read in Proverbs 3:5-6: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.


What if all of your blocks, those things you have built your life on for years, suddenly lay scattered all about you? What if you find out that the ladder you have been climbing is leaning against the wrong wall? You may be tempted to give up on God. You may say, “I can’t start over again. What’s the use?”


Do not give up, my friend; trust God.


He loves you and cares for you. He has a plan and you are part of it. You are where you are in order to become the person He is calling you to be. Whatever you do for Him, whatever you have done for Him, will last forever. Find His purpose for your life and build on it.


Last modified on Tuesday, 04 August 2015 21:05
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