Build a Life That's Secure
It's late morning on a Saturday and Dad has come over to "help" me do some renovations on my house. That is, he's come to do work on our home while I hand him tools and offer to fetch him coffee. His brown, leather tool belt hangs low around his waist, weighted down by his blue, 25 oz. framing hammer. These are the days I get to see Dad in his natural environment, doing his work. We don't talk while we move through a process etched in his muscle memory from 60 years of repetition. Run the tape measure, pencil-mark an arrow, slap the speed square down to draw your line, and you're ready to cut. I begin to hand him the circular saw, and he shakes his head, pointing to the Home Depot bag of replacement blades. If you're going to do a job, do it right.
I realize now that Dad lived the way he worked, building a life that was square and secure. Though I'll never remodel a house like him, I try to live as he did. So when my inner world starts falling apart, I return to the lasting principles of Scripture and let the Lord renovate my life.
You can't start a project until you get the right tools and prepare them for use.
"If the iron is blunt, and one does not sharpen the edge, he must use more strength, but wisdom helps one to succeed" (Eccl. 10:10).
While preparing the blade, you can't get any work done on the house, so it seems unproductive — no direct project results. But when you skip these tasks, you make everything harder, and your effectiveness diminishes. In life, sharpening your edge means improving your skills and renewing your strength. So how's your prayer life and Bible reading? As these two "sharpening" habits go, so goes your fruitfulness. When's the last time you read a book to improve yourself? Are you replenishing your energy, preparing to serve?
Levels, plumb bobs, and framing squares all exist to ensure proper alignment. The Hebrew word for that is yosher, which can refer to a "level" surface (Isa. 26:7), an "upright" frame (Ex. 36:20), or a "straight" road (Isa. 40:3). We also need to get ourselves morally square.
"I will praise you with an upright heart, when I learn your righteous rules" (Psalm 119:7).
Christianity is not amorphous "spirituality," free of a governing standard. If you put a beam at an angle, it won't bear the load, because it can not defeat the laws of physics. If you refuse to line yourself up with "righteous rules," your life will not stand. Is there something off in your life, something you know you need to do but haven't? Resolve to do what's right, whatever it takes.
As you fasten your materials together with nails and screws, a solid structure begins to take shape.
"He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord" (Psalm 112:7).
Ever feel like your life's coming apart? Ever find yourself in the grip of fear? Fix your heart on God's character and promises. As we tighten the bolts holding us to him, fear loosens its grip, and we can look confidently ahead.