I was down at the beach with my granddaughter. She did what many kids do. She built a little sand structure, dug out what might be called a moat and played like her "castle" would stand forever. Of course, she learned it didn't last. The tide came in, the water seeped under her sandcastle, and it slowly settled into the beach.
I have built castles too. Places where I have staked my claim. I have exerted my control and my dominance. It felt good too! But, over time, I found that my castles didn't last. No matter how well I built them they all seemed to fail. But the tide changed, the waves came in and my perfect little plan settled into oblivion.
Last Sunday we talked about how God wants us to become totally open to Him. How our little compartments become walls that we set up to keep God out. I was thinking about this and how I have built life in my little protected and controlled setting. What if I told you that we can do this all we want, but we cannot keep God out. God is like the wave on the beach ... the changing tide. Stevie Nicks writes, in The Edge of Seventeen, about the relentless sea ... "the sea changes colors, but the sea does not change." God isn't altered by our structures or our plans. God does not change when I build my castles. God is even more relentless than the sea, and God's waves (and those that happen because of a turbulent world) crash in. And the water rushes into our castles and we must either run or stand in God's power and allow our castles, our compartments and our small plans to be changed by the only one who can make something useful out of them.
Thursday we will have an birthday party. It will be attended by all who have started to see that the wave of Jesus has crashed in on our castles. I hope none of us will see this as invasion or destruction ... I pray we will see this as needed change. God will crash my castles one by one, and, if I let Him, He will fill my life with things, people, pastimes, challenges, that will be good for me. I may not see the immediate positives, but if I get out of God's way, I will see His new and good things in what many may view as calamity. For seven years our Celebrate Recovery team has listened to those who have experienced waves that destroyed their castles. We have consoled, comforted and told our new friends "this is happening for a purpose ... let God show you what He can and will do." If you come Thursday you will hear testimony about a God who makes all things new, sometimes with waves that knock us off our feet. Come, listen, cry, laugh and hear about the God of the ocean who is strong enough to overcome death and gentle enough to carry, in His arms, a woman who thinks all is lost. Come ... and let God's waves tear down castles and give you a new and better place to live, in His house! Randy