A building needs to be strong enough to withstand all that comes against it. It needs a foundation that distributes and withstands the loads above ground: dead load; wind, live and seismic loads. A building’s height above ground must be balanced by an adequate underground foundation. Each part of the building needs to be strong.
YOU need to be strong. Could it be that God has exposed you to challenging conditions to reinforce your foundation? In the blustery conditions of your life, are you deepening your purposefulness? Are you becoming more committed, determined, unwavering; more dependent on Him, more consistent—is your foundation being made secure?
In the midst of suffering, do you exercise your free will to consistently please God? If you haven’t yet, you can start today. If you have been faithful, as Job was faithful to God in successive losses, God is no doubt at work converting your grit and resolve, your daily grind of faithfulness, to the laying of a steadfast foundation. He does so in order to build above ground in your life ahead. The greater the depth of your foundation, the higher He can build your future.
Matthew 16:18 “And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.”
“…I will build my church…” He is the one who will build it; the pressure is off you. Wait to see what He does. Wait to be driven by the desires He puts within you. Don’t guess what He wants done, ask Him. Wait to know from Him each step of the way. You can’t imagine what He has in store for you, or how and when it will transpire.
It’s possible to bypass God and fabricate your own building—many people do it and some even claim it’s of God. There are plenty of existing buildings to model after—they don’t even need Him to oversee construction. Those buildings may even be well-built. The greater challenge, though, and the far greater outcome, is to be built by God.
In the process, He may do the unexpected: He may address religious styles and exclusivity by removing insider Christian lingo from your vocabulary; He might keep you from your past influences until you are strong enough to not be reabsorbed into the style, theologies, religiosity, or social demands He wants to change; He may reduce your life to a simple relationship—just you and Him; He may grant you the privilege of extensive access to His opinions, personality, teaching, and insights.
You are being prepared for your future. Don’t be intimidated—it will be a new thing but it need not be a difficult thing. You may fear being inadequate, imagining that you’ll be judged for lack of knowledge, influence, or formal training, but don’t worry; it won’t be like that. It will be comfortable and natural for you, because your relationship with God is comfortable and natural; that will go forward. You’re the same person, moving from underground foundation building to an above-ground structure, from relative seclusion and isolation to the public eye.
When viewed from this perspective, your past traumas, pain, injustices, and miseries are changed from regret to gratitude. Without your past you’d be incapable of what God has ahead. The building, YOU, has the capacity to be bigger and higher because your past suffering produced a solid foundation.
Amid your painful past, you may also have bittersweet memories you cherish. You may never again have the voluminous time of solitude you’ve had with God. In your suffering, you had His warm embrace and comfort, His coddling, His soothing words of assurance and hope—don’t hold them so tightly that you refuse to move forward.
You may be apprehensive too, as the future is full of unknowns. You may be asked to take a leap into that unknown and into a changed life. Do it despite your apprehension. It will be different ahead, but better ahead.
Trust Him. His buildings don’t topple; they don’t harm others. His are fortresses, an aid to those in need. Be patient. He is making you capable of withstanding daunting loads. Let Him build you. Let Him train you, mold you, gift you, prepare you, and lead you. When your building begins to be constructed above ground in public, it will be evident to passersby who the builder was.
Understand that your suffering is not wasted and is useful for God’s purposes. There will be a day when you’ll see all that you gained from the pain. Stay faithful to God. Like Job, an abundance of good things ahead resonates logically, in direct correlation to the abundance of injustices you’ve endured. Though it can be difficult to imagine your life changing to good and the concept of being blessed is foreign, you must accept His blessings just as you accepted His challenges.
Watch as He builds you. Let Him change the pain to joy, the ashes to beauty, and lack to abundance. Accept His finishing touches on your building and remember: it will be evident to passersby who the builder was.