Excavating my heart
I have lived in my “new” house for almost 11 years now. We built this house and when we moved in everything was brand new and it was clean and everything worked. That’s not the case any longer, my carpets are hopelessly “kid” stained, my dishwasher and stove both had to be replaced, the “new” pool needed a new liner this year and the back door now leaks.
Two weeks ago I watched with dread as an earth mover was delivered to the back field behind my house. One man got out and put up a silt fence and then flags and marked off property lines for another house in the field behind my “new house,” I’ve been afraid of this day since the day I moved in. Early the next morning, I was awoken to the loud sound of that earth mover firing up it’s diesel engine as it prepared to begin the process of digging the foundation for a house that was always expected but never wanted.
This big empty field has been our backyard since we moved in. The kids have had the joy of playing baseball and football there, it’s been a source of discovery as they have searched for treasure and animals and fossils, we have used this field to fly kites, to blow off rockets, and to build snow forts. We have also used this field as our dumping ground for grass, leaves, sticks, used up jack-o-lanterns and there may even be an old pile of bricks back there, but I’ll never admit they are ours. This big empty field is part of our backyard, except it’s not and now it’s being claimed by it’s rightful owner. And I’m not at all happy about it..as if I have any right to be mad.
That morning I watched the earth mover slowly transform a beautiful field into an ugly eye sore. While I watched, I told God all about my frustration and disappointment and fear of losing the empty field. I told him that I liked the empty field and that it was a good thing and that I didn’t want this new development encroaching on my space. All the while, the earth mover kept moving the earth and digging deeper into the ground unaware or unconcerned that I was upset at his progress.
Sometime during my rant to God, a unwanted thought floated through my mind, “What if…what if, this house that you clearly don’t want is the home of your next best friend? What if…this house behind you becomes the source of one of my biggest blessings in your life?” And with that thought, I started to see the earth mover, my empty field and this new hole in the ground in different light. I started to consider the possibilities, I started to wonder if it was possible that our old field could turn into a new adventure, a new beginning. I watched the earth mover move over the same spot hundreds of times, it looked like it would never accomplish it’s task of digging the new foundation. Every time it would pass by a section to move some dirt, a new section of dirt would fall into the hole that was just created. It’s slow, loud, methodical and purposeful actions were performed over and over and over again until slowly I began to see the foundation take shape.
What if our hearts, our lives, our dreams, our futures were like this empty field and God was the earth mover? I am often content with what I know. I tell my kids all the time that the “crazy you know is better than the crazy you don’t!” There are so many times when God starts to move things around in my life and I become concerned, angry, whiny and just don’t want him to mess with me. My response to Him, my acceptance of His plan usually doesn’t have any bearing on His work. He continues to slowly and purposefully remove the old dirt from my heart until he has cleared enough away for me to begin to see the plan take shape. It’s my choice to accept his work in my life or to fight it with everything I have. One choice leads to a lot more pain and stress than the other. But even so, it’s still not easy when God is excavating our hearts and lives. The dirt still needs to be moved and shaped and lifted and dumped. Transformation needs to take place and that transformation is always loud and long and something old needs to be taken away in order for something new to take shape.
Right now construction has stopped. It was 24/7 for a few days and now, nothing. There are no workers, no cement trucks, no hammers…nothing. It’s nice to have a reprieve from the noise but I’m stuck looking at an unfinished house. No new “bestie” is moving in any time soon with the house looking like this. And so I wait…
Waiting is one of the most painful and yet constant things in our lives. It requires nothing and it requires everything all at the same time. Here’s the thing I know about the builders of the house, they will be back. I know that this house will not stand like this forever, I know this beyond a shadow of a doubt. Why don’t I have that much faith in God the Almighty? Why do I doubt that God will finish what he has started in me? I use up so much energy fretting and wondering and pacing…I’m not sure what else I should be doing but telling God about how and when and why and what he should be doing probably isn’t it.
Do I trust God enough to come back? Do I believe that he values me enough to finish me? Do you?
Many times in the Bible God’s people waited on Him to answer their prayers, to save them from trials or to bless them in the face of adversity. This process of learning to trust God had to be taught over and over and over again to each new generation. We are no different than the ancient Israelites.
In Isaiah 43: 19 it says, “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland to give drink to my people, my chosen, the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise.”
Hang on my friends, God is preparing something…it says so in his Word.