They dug deep into the dirt that day.
That beautiful pasture with the green grass that runs down into the “holler”. The field that seems to go on forever now holds a deep red scar of dirt and mud. As I looked at the fresh dirt torn out of the beautiful green field, my eyes filled with tears.
Please don’t be sad for me. These were tears of joy. And that’s the great paradox of it all.
You see, I have waited 15 long years for this day. This day of breaking. The promise was there, the vision never faded. But in the sovereignty of God, the time was not right – until now. But now – oh rejoice with me! Now they are breaking through, turning over dirt, preparing the field.
I’ve seen the plans. I have held the blueprints for what will come. And the building that will rise on that freshly disturbed soil is beautiful. Not just in it’s physical design, but in purpose. And when I think of all that God can do in that place, my heart skips a beat.
I have never been happier to see green grass replaced by rocky piles of red dirt. And I just can’t stop thinking about it.
That morning when they dug into the dirt and my eyes saw visions of a beautiful building? That same morning, my eyes caught sight of a simple verse lying on a page – “You are God’s building” (1 Co 3:9). I caught my breath in wonder, because the meaning is unavoidable. The timing was divine. You don’t need me to spell it out for you – it’s as clear as the sun coming up over the horizon.
I saw before me the green pastures I have carefully manicured in my own life. The plans I had crafted and all the places I have desperately tried to control. I thought of all the times God has dug deep and turned over that soil. Destroying that beautiful green grass and replaced it with a rough scar of red dirt. Some of those scars continue to be fresh and I often wonder why? One can survey a field of unexplained destruction in their life and wonder how a good God can let such things happen.
“What’s that on the ground?” He sings in the background. “It’s what’s left of my heart. Somebody named Jesus broke it to pieces and planted the shards” (Andrew Peterson)
“Even when I call out or cry for help, He shuts out my prayer. He has barred my way with blocks of stone; He has made my paths crooked…” cries the prophet Jeremiah. “So I say, “My splendor is gone and all that I had hoped from the Lord.” (Jeremiah in Lamentations 3:8-9;18)
Are you sitting in a ruined field surrounded by destruction today? Does your life look so different from the one you had envisioned? Does your carefully manicured field, those dreams you once held so valuable now lie in ruin around you? My friend, lift up your eyes! There is hope beyond this mess – our shortsighted eyes may not be able to see it yet – but that doesn’t mean the blueprint doesn’t exist. Beyond that broken red scar of turned up soil lies a promise.
The vision for what will be springs up beautiful and bold in my heart, and thus the destruction becomes a sign of hope.
In the middle of these December days, when the darkness comes early and the air brings a chill, what is God turning over in your life? Right here in the middle of Advent, does your heart beat faster at the sound of Hope? Can we find Him in the middle of our mess and start to anticipate the beauty that will rise on the other side rather than just weep for the destruction of our carefully manicured, controlled spaces?
I think about that verse God started my day with – “You are God’s building” What if I just let it all go? Stopped asking why about all the messy places and started just trusting Him in the middle of the mess? What if I allow the Great Architect to dig up all those places in my life that I have clung to so He can build what He designed so many years ago – since the beginning of time? What if?
I remember Jeremiah and his anguish over the loss in his life. In the midst of his darkest days, how does Jeremiah respond? “Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” (Lamentations 3:21-24)
And Andrew Peterson sings on in the background ….
“And they’re coming up green,
And they’re coming in bloom
I can hardly believe this is all coming true.
Just as I am and just as I was
Just as I will be He loves me, He does
He showed me the day that
He shed His own blood.
He loves me, oh He loves me, He does