Hold On To God's Unchanging Hand
For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Luke 14:28 ESV
It seems like construction is going on somewhere near us all the time—maybe a new house in the neighborhood, a section of highway on our route to work, old businesses being torn down, new schools going up. There’s a lot happening out there most days! And we usually pass right by the action unless it somehow affects us personally. Workers in the fields of construction, architecture, or engineering have a behind-the-scenes understanding of what it takes to make those transformations happen. Otherwise, we likely have no idea how much up-front planning and hard work goes into it. But we all know that new structures don’t spring up overnight, and they certainly don’t happen without a detailed plan. Imagine two different kinds of builders. One gets so excited about her new endeavor that she buys some ground, calls a few friends to help, finds some tools that seem like they’d be useful, and starts hammering away at the project. The second type of person lays the groundwork first and then takes the meticulous steps he needs to follow through. Of course, we know the intentional way is the only way to build something that will last. But it takes some patience, discipline, and discernment—three things we humans often struggle with.
It’s a great illustration of our faith journey. Some of us can identify a significant time when our new life in Christ began. It can feel like a whole new world when we let go of our old lives and begin a relationship with Him. Even if our circumstances didn’t change, our heart was filled with a new kind of hope and our mind was opened to life-giving truths for the first time. It can feel as if we were being rebuilt from the ground up—exciting, exhilarating, and maybe even exhausting. We may rush in, absorb lots of knowledge, make big changes, seek out new relationships and experiences . . . and end up feeling overwhelmed. That’s how the first builder feels: excited, inspired, and motivated but ultimately lacking some balance and structure. It’s so easy (and so human!) for us to let our emotions lead and then be hard on ourselves when we hit a low point and find ourselves on shaky ground. No matter how long we’ve been walking with Jesus, it’s good to remember to pause once in a while to get our bearings and check in with the Builder of our faith. The hymn “Hold to God’s Unchanging Hand” reminds us to do just that:
Time is filled with swift transition.
Naught of earth unmoved can stand.
Build your hopes on things eternal.
Hold to God’s unchanging hand.
Is it time to slow down? To let some things go? Or welcome new ways of doing life? Which commitments are serving His purpose and which ones are standing in the way? Asking some simple but prayerful questions now and then can help to re-center us and prepare us for the path ahead. We can always carry the excitement, wonder, and joy in our heart that our life in Christ has brought. But we can also use the wisdom He provides to keep us grounded and growing steadily along the way.
Lord, thank You for being a compassionate and understanding Father. During those times when I let my feelings lead, when I feel overwhelmed and a little lost on the journey, please help me to find my bearings again in You. I don’t ever want to lose the excitement of my life in Christ, but I want to be intentional about what we’re building together. My mind and heart are Yours. Amen.
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