I was watching one of those DIY shows today. The story was about a couple who bought a fixer-upper and, with the aid of a professional contractor, undertook a massive renovation. But after some time, the couple had hit their renovation breaking point. Discouragement and tiredness had set in.
That's when the contractor walked in and proclaimed, "Your DIY days are over - hand over the tools."
The couple's reactions were illuminating. The guy's response? "Be my guest." He had had enough. But the girl's reply? "I don't know, I don't think you can do it."
And then with finality, the contractor responds, "Well, you guys are just going to have to trust me."
You're going to have to trust me.
I went to my grandfather's grave today. With me I carried a hammer; his hammer. My grandfather was a brick-mason, an extremely hard working man. He was, in many ways, a father to me; someone who held a very high place in my heart.
I went to the grave to lay down the hammer, to return it to him; a symbolic gesture inspired by the Lord. In the laying down of that hammer I was laying down the self-sufficiency, striving, worry, fear, anxiety, and all of the things that come from living a life based on the attitude that we'd better to our part, do it thoroughly (actually do it perfectly), and be self-sufficient or else the outcome could be disastrous.
I laid down the inability to trust.
Sometimes we have to let go of things to gain things. Honestly, the tool is better in God's hands than in ours. For when it comes to our renovation, the changing of our heart, the formation of us into His likeness, there's really only One Who is up to the task. And that would be the Lord working in us through His Spirit.
No doubt, we labor with Him. But no doubt, we labor to enter His rest. In all humility ask yourself a question. What can I really effectively do to become more like Him? Fast more? Pray more? Read the bible more? Self effort will never change your heart. Only He can do that.
So what are you looking for? What are you looking to become? Are you ready to forget the past and to move forward towards the goal? Then hand over your tools to Him and trust Him to do it. In doing so, you will honor Him, for you are saying, "Lord, without out You I am nothing, and unless You build this house, all my labor is in vain."
Oh, how did the show end?
Well, the job got done. Far quicker and far better than the couple could have done it themselves. They were blown away. (I was blown away). And so will we be when we see on that day what He has created in us.
Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit - Zech 4:6
(Photographs by H.G. Furcinitti)