I don’t know about you, but I’m finding it a bit difficult to believe that the “Holiday Season” is about ready to turn its shopfront sign to that saddening Closed. The year will soon get a new name, but after that, life returns to normal. The focus is taken off of a life perfectly wrapped in glistening paper and strategically tied bows. The appearances were made, the decorations come down and we are again stuck with normalcy. For a few weeks, we forgot about the parts of life that looked like a pile of legos: messy, mismatched and in the way. But now, in order to store that holiday decor for another year, we have to take the lego-like reality out of the closet and stare it in the face yet again.
Christmas 2014 may have been the best Christmas I’ve had since I was a kid. I was invited along to a friend’s home and I felt completely spoiled. They fed me well and even gave me a load of very practical gifts to unwrap on Christmas morning. I was absolutely overwhelmed by the love I received from this family. However, the most joyful part was watching my friend’s seven year old son enjoy his Christmas: the anticipation, the excitement, the sheer element of surprise.
This little boy could not wait to see if he received what was on his Christmas list. What was the present to top all presents? The complete Arctic Base Camp Lego set! And I mean, his family…hehem…sorry, Santa did it right. He received an element of it from mum and then part from his grandparents and then St. Nick managed to sneak the final sets into his stocking and under the tree. He hit the mother-load.
And what better time to put the set together than right away? Bags were open, pieces strewn across the floor. It was actually quite organized for a seven year old. Along with his uncle, this young boy opened the guide and carefully began assembling the components. After an hour, he had a working lego helicopter. And then it was a vehicle that drilled through ice. It took diligence to put these sets together. There was a process and certain steps to follow. Most kids I know would have just started clipping pieces together and come up with something that may have resembled the thing. But this was perfection. The chaos actually made sense in the end.
God has recently been speaking to me about this idea of being established. I see that so much of my own life seems to be defined by the things I do rather than the person I’m becoming. I look at the pile of legos in my life and start doing, or rather, randomly stick pieces together to see what works. I don’t like the often painstaking process that requires sticking it out…that requires being established. My process ends up as something, but it’s never as cool as I pictured it in my mind. Maybe it’s because of my creative brain, or maybe it’s just my lack of trust in the guide.
So when God talks about establishing things, what does He really mean? I was reading in Isaiah recently and in chapter 54:14 it says, “In righteousness you shall be established…” I thought I knew what that meant, but because I love words and the meanings of words, I decided to look it up. In Hebrew, this word is “kuwn”. Being a root word, it has many meanings, but as I read its definition I couldn’t help but picture that little boy at Christmas strategically piecing together his lego set.
kuwn: to set up – fix; to fashion, fasten, be fitted, order, perfect, make ready, be stable, establish.
These are just a few definitions of the word, far more involved than just having a strong foundation.
Each one of us has a messy pile of legos. Some of us are more patient than others. Like that little boy, some of us are willing to get out the guide and start assembling. Some of us want to forget the guide completely and just have at it. I can’t say that either way will completely put Humpty-Dumpty back together again. There are always misfit pieces and odd components that don’t make sense. Regardless of how you see your mess of legos, God looks at it and sees something incredible. He has the ability to fashion, fasten and perfectly fit our lives together.
Lately, I have only seen my life as an overwhelming pile of legos. But God is saying that His plan is to establish me, even in what seems like a disorganized mess. If you are like me and feel this need to put it all together alone, no matter how hard I try, it won’t ever be what God intends. Though my little friend had the guide to follow, he was still often overwhelmed and prone to giving up. But his uncle sat with him and helped to explain how everything worked together. He took the mess and helped my little friend create something amazing.
In God, I’m beginning to see that we have something even better than a very patient, helpful uncle. We have a Father in heaven who wants nothing more than to spend the time to help us make our life legos make sense. We have a guide and there is a process, and God does promise that the outcome will be for our good, to give us hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).
My pastor at NewSpring, Perry Noble, always said it’s okay not to be okay, but it’s not okay to stay that way. Being established doesn’t just happen. It’s a process like any other thing. I just want to encourage you that if your life seems like a mess of legos right now, understand that God will help you put them together. He has a plan for those legos and it’s going to be incredible. We (I absolutely include myself in this) just have to allow Him to help us organize the chaos.