Of late, does it seem as if everything familiar in your life has begun to shake? Are your plans continually having to be changed and your routines upended? Nobody — not even those of us who seem to thrive on adrenaline – enjoys living in a state of interruptions — full of sidelined plans, broken appointments, aborted goals, and chaotic schedules. For most of us, life seems to lurch forward at light speed; we are regularly almost late to nearly everything, and more and more details are swallowed up in the “forgotten items” pile of our brains.
As a child, I remember long, lazy summers when I yearned for the much-anticipated first day of school. I recall the joy and anticipation of the Advent season. I counted days until visits from favorite relatives or our much-loved vacations to family in the Rocky Mountains. Everything seemed to take forever to “get here,” and my enjoyment level of everything we had anticipated was unbelievably high.
Now, however, it seems school starts before I can even begin settling down for the summer. Christmas comes before I am prepared for it. There is never enough time to plan, much less execute, a lazy weekend with friends or family. Life literally screams for attention, in spite of my vain efforts to refuse much of what it demands of me. Schedules swallow me alive, and it seems there is very little room to breathe.
However, I am finding God is present in the whirlwind and the storms. My plans do not, after all, shape the framework of my peace. Only Jesus can do that. All my survival systems and coping mechanisms pale in comparison to His Presence. In fact, it appears He is currently shaking everything in my operating systems that can be shaken. He longs for me to rely on Him and Him alone, to seek His Presence and peace in the throes of all the pressures of life.
A well-organized day-planner will NOT give me peace, as people and circumstances have the power to alter the most carefully laid plans. A better calendar and more well-developed ability to say “no” will not give me rest. Only Jesus can do that. In His mercy, He shakes my plans and my systems and my coping mechanisms. “For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ” (I Corinthians 3:11). God wants our foundation to be on Jesus, the Rock, rather than on anyone or anything else (Matthew 7:25-27). Only HE will sustain us when the storms of life hit and our plans (our little houses of cards) collapse.
In His mercy, He shakes every foundation that does not reflect His handiwork. Although He temporarily allows us to go our own way, He promises that everything not built on Him will ultimately fail. In Haggai 2:6-7, God promises: “Once more (it is a little while) I will shake heaven and earth, the sea and dry land;and I will shake all nations, and they shall come to the Desire of All Nations, and I will fill this temple with glory,’ says the Lord of hosts.” Truly, it is God’s MERCY and boundless LOVE for us that provoke Him to shake up anything of our own making. He yearns for us to yearn for Him — and to abandon all other things on which we so easily have come to rely.
Father, help me remove the rubble of my own plans and systems. Teach me — gently, if possible! — how to remain solidly planted on the foundation of Your Presence in my life and to rely on Your Word, Your plans, and Your perspective. Teach me Your way, O Lord. I choose to walk in Your truth. Unite my heart to fear Your Name (see Psalm 86:11). Help me to rejoice in the rubble of my own ways and embrace You — the joy and power of Your Presence in me!