Have you ever seen an office desk so full of papers that there is literally no room to work? Not even a place to set a single pen down where it’s not touching some papers? For many of us, our lives are just like this out-of-control office desk. They’re so cluttered with papers and there’s so much on our plates that God has no place to work. He sits down at the desk of our life but can’t do anything because there’s no room for Him. So what does He do when He wants to do a work in us but can’t find any room to do so? He creates space to work.
In this context, a work is considered spiritual work, that work on our soul that elevates it to a higher place with a more intimate connection to the Creator. When life is good and we’re busy with our physical work and the things of this world, there is little spiritual work being accomplished. It’s as if the town is finished and is existing but has very little new growth. We, humans, look forward to these moments of no growth, these moments where we can catch our breath and bask in the sunshine of His grace. But Yahweh desires to grow us, and these summer breezes do not create growth. The very words “create” and “growth” are terms that are born from hardship, pain, blood, sweat, and tears.
So if Yahweh wants to do a work in us and the word “create” is connected to labor, toil, and struggle, what do you think He does to open the space He needs? First, He politely asks us to clean up the desk and make room for work. If we don’t heed that quiet voice, He’ll take His hand, wipe it back and forth like a windshield wiper, and clear the space He needs. This action shocks our system because we understood our organized chaos; everything was right where we wanted and needed it to be. But it is the displacement of the elements of our lives that causes us to begin the work He’s looking for.
When a tornado ravishes a well-established town, it causes great devastation and panic. Where no one ever had time to create new growth or to upgrade their buildings before, the radical removal of the “papers on their desk” created the time and space for new growth. Now, out of necessity, the townspeople are forced to upgrade their homes with the latest technology and up-to-date building materials. During the storm and the immediate aftermath, no one could foresee how they would get through the moment. But when the town gets rebuilt, it becomes the most advanced, state-of-the-art town in the state. Where few people had heard of the town before, it now makes headlines everywhere, first because of the devastation and now because of the incredible growth.
It works in the same way in the spiritual realm. The Father is looking to upgrade our systems to the most advanced spiritual system available. But we don’t have the time or space to even desire such a work. So many times He must create the space needed. And the work to prepare that space can come in the form of great trials, tribulations, and incredibly destructive storms. Because we operate within time and according to a finite, earthly mindset, it’s difficult for us to see the full scale and purpose of these storms in our lives. But the Father isn’t interested in our comfort. He knows time is very short to prepare us for our eternal futures, that eternal rewards are directly connected to our spiritual growth, that spiritual growth only happens when there’s a need, that a need is only created when there’s space to work, and that a space to work is created through adversity. It is this adversity that causes us to cling to Him, to pay more attention to what He’s saying, and wanting to build in our lives. And this is the work He’s looking to do in our lives, that intimate partnership of repenting, correcting, upgrading, and growing our relationship with Him and with others.
When we finally understand that all things come from Him and that all things work together for those that love the Lord (Romans 8:28), we can learn to praise Him in all situations, knowing that the building up of something is directly related to the destruction of something else. You may not see the end product while your house is in ruins. But the Master Builder has a blueprint for your next house. And its design is far beyond the old one you once clung to. If you praise Him in the destruction of your outdated house and partner with Him in the building of the new, taking much time in prayer through intimate connection, the end result will far surpass anything you could have ever dreamed of…in this world AND the next.
21 Feb. 2017
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