An intriguing comment by a Romanian pastor gave me the words to describe something I have been thinking a great deal about recently. With the weight of deep appreciation he said, “Thank you so much for this week. I want you to know, God demolished me.”
Granted, this was the first time anyone ever used the word ‘demolished’ in reference to my ministry, but it was a good thing. He was saying something profound. That very morning we had processed some of the deeper challenges God was confronting in him-some areas of needed change.
“Demolished” is the perfect word for something I have been thinking a lot about recently. You see, in his deep love for us, there are times when God “demolishes” us.
We habitually erect superstructures upon which we might hang the stuff of life. We frame the steel beams and girders of security and try to lock things down just as we prefer them. We construct a life that puts us in control and makes us feel safe.
However, this manmade life stands as an obstacle to the life of intimacy and dependency for which God created us. So, God demolishes these structures because of his deep love for us. His severe mercy leads him to tear down the very super-structures we have been so earnest to build. He does it so that we might discover all over again that He is enough.
This demolition happens through a variety of mechanisms. Children rock your world when they walk away from Christ. Illness reframes your capacity for engaging life. Finances dry up and send everything sideways. Your spouse walks out. A crisis at church shatters your spiritual community. Your boss nudges you out. And, on it goes.
In moments like these and in hundreds of others, God pries open the welds that hold the structures of our lives in place. He does it so that we might learn that “man does not live by bread alone.” He does it so that we might discover anew that he alone is sufficient. He does it so to release us from our addiction to acquisition. He does it so that we might discover the true source of security and meaning in life.