Many apologies for my recent absence… I’ve been in the process of transitioning to a new work schedule, and between strange sleeping habits and random headaches, my thought processes have not worked so well for contributing here. I haven’t forgotten you, my friends.
As soon as I began reading today’s passages, the first verse of Psalm 127 struck me like a personal thump to the forehead from the Holy Spirit.
Unless the Lord builds the house,
the builders labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
the guards stand watch in vain.
(Psalm 127:1, NIV)
You see, I’ve been trying to build something lately, or at least messing about with the foundations and trying to decide whether to build something on it.
I’m horrible about making decisions, and to be quite honest, the majority of my life I haven’t had to make any significant ones. I’ve been blessed like that, where I’ve either had a lack of options, or one glaringly obvious one, for most of the potential crossroads in my life.
Relationship-wise, every guy I had a crush on from the age of 16 until I met my husband at 28 was not interested, at least to the same extent at the same time. For college, I had a nice scholarship offer from Southern Illinois University that made it silly to consider any other options, and an interest in broadcast journalism that made selecting my major an easy choice. After college, my brother offered a spot in his guest room and made suggestions on job hunting that got me to Phoenix and in the door with the City… and my job on the reception desk at the convention center led me to my next job in the construction field office, which led me to my next job with the project management firm… My career path has been a series of “right place, right time” and suggestions from other people that I’ve acted on, but with very little initiative or choice involved on my end.
And now, a decision is before me, and I’m studying all angles and trying to figure out what on earth to do.
Maybe you’re in my spot, trying to decide whether to start a new project, or you’ve already started building something: a new ministry, or a career, or a relationship.
Is the building going well? Is it a constant struggle? And most importantly, is what you’re building going to be worth the effort? Will that relationship stand the test of time? Will that new ministry bear fruit? Unless the Lord is building the house, your labor is in vain.
The work is primarily His – although you may have work of your own to do in the building, and in the maintaining of it. And the foundation must be His as well, or what you are endeavoring to build is nothing but a house of cards. If you build on Him, and entrust Him with the work, the building will stand.
And what of the things in our lives that have already been built? Our careers? Our ministries? Our marriages and friendships? We hold tightly to what we have in this life, and work and worry constantly to attempt to protect the things that matter to us. Unless the Lord watches over the city, your watchfulness is in vain. Try as we might to hold on to what we have, if God does not have His hand on them, they will slip through our fingers.
I leave you this morning with these questions:
What are we building? Is it our effort, or God’s? And is God the foundation?
And once it is built, do we trust God to take care of the things that are most important to us?