When the fences come down

Fences. We put them up to keep people out and pets and little ones in. Those are literal fences. Then there are those invisible ones we put up to keep people out emotionally because we have been hurt and are afraid to trust again. And, yes, we construct them sometimes to keep God out of our business when we don’t want Him meddling too much. But I want to talk about the fences that God puts up around us with a sign that says, “Under Construction.”

For over a year now the fences have been up around one of my favorite places on campus. This is the place I go to during my break to relax and be soothed by the sounds of the lake as I enjoy the serene surroundings. I just returned from a walk and noticed that the fences around the lake are gradually coming down. I have been curious to know what the area is going to look like after so many months of behind the scenes work. I was not disappointed. I could not have imagined the reconfiguration of seating options, the completely new addition of marsh around the lake, the bright red beach chairs that are calling my name and the lush landscaping that I can already see transforming the area around the lake.

This all reminds me of the work taking place in my life right now. Unless the fences come down, no one, not even I, can imagine the complete renovation that has been going on. I have wanted to tear down the fences and go, “Enough already! I get it, God!” But He keeps saying, “My child, just a little while longer. I am working on something here. I am stretching your faith and growing your roots deeper in me. You are still double-minded about this process and still holding on to some control, but you need to let go and free fall into the plans and purposes that will be revealed when you are ready.”

I have been impatient about getting back to sitting around the lake at lunch time and reading, meditating or watching people. I have also been impatient about getting to the place(s) I am certain God is taking me. He has patiently watched me get my spiritual sustenance from milk and soft foods and now it is time for meat and potatoes. The roots from the former can only sustain me for so long. The work to which He is calling me requires the meat and potato kind of roots because I cannot lead others where I have not been and where I have not experienced the thrill of watching God be true to everything He has promised in His Word. Yes, sometimes I want to take a sneak peek behind the fences so I can build the faith I will need for the unveiling, but God is asking me to trust that He, my Creator, who already knows the end of the matter, is the Master Builder. I am His workmanship, His masterpiece, and He is creating me anew in Christ Jesus, to do the good things He planned for me long ago. Ahhhhh!!! This is a Selah moment!


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© 2018 by Chinwe Okpalaoka.
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