“You are God, You’re the Great I Am”
Breath of life I breathe You in
Even in the fire, I’m alive in You!
You are strong in my brokenness
Sovereign over every step
Even in the fire, I’m alive
I’m alive in You!”
~ Jesus Culture, “Alive in You”
I had coffee on our patio this week. Apparently that groundhog that my state so proudly claims may have been right about an “early” spring, because I slid on some flip flops, left my jacket inside, and enjoyed the sunshine. Two summers ago my husband painstakingly put a beautiful stone patio in our backyard. Circles of stones leading from our deck into the yard, perfect for watching our daughter play or roasting s’mores over the fire pit.
And now we’re getting ready to repair it. You wouldn’t know it to look at the surface, but over time the sand below the stones has shifted. Rain and snow and heat and use have caused some of the stones to sink and move. But to look at it, it looks fine.
I look fine.
But don’t we all have some shifting that happens below the surface? It’s easier to put on a smile and share the surface story with those who ask than it is to admit that maybe we need to have a little work done to fix what’s been broken.
A friend commented the other day that I seem so calm and relaxed when I do live videos on Periscope or Facebook or Blab. And I had to admit to her that on this side of the screen it’s more like what happens when you see a duck floating peacefully on the water. On the surface, everything looks great. But under the water there is a frantic paddling to keep everything afloat. I’m nervous and second guess every moment. I can’t bring myself to watch the replays because I’m afraid to watch myself fail or stumble or be less than perfect. I check it off the list and move on and pretend that I’m brave enough to keep doing them because I love connecting with women online to encourage them.
What we see on the surface is only a small part of the picture. But whatever the brokenness is underneath isn’t the whole story either. We are neither wholly perfect or completely broken.
In order to fix our patio we’re going to have to do some hard work. We’re going to have to remove what we’ve so carefully built and lay it aside so we can get to the real issue. We’ll have to dig a little bit, pour new sand for strength, and put the pieces back where they belong, adding an extra row of stones around the edge buried halfway into the dirt so the edges of the patio don’t move again.
When we stop to ask God to show us where He can make us strong in our brokenness, He might ask us to do some of the same things. What is it that we need to lay aside, the beautiful surface we’ve covered ourselves with to hide the real problems? Where is it in our hearts that we’ll need to allow God to dig into, to chip away the hard and broken pieces? Are we willing to be moved so that God can move in us, to strengthen our weak places?
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