En Gedi: Finding rest in the wilderness!

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What is behind that ugly scaffolding?

Posted by Scott on March 13, 2009

“Deep in unfathomable mines

Of never-failing skill

He treasures up His bright designs,

And works His sovereign will.”

-Cowper

Back in the mid 1980’s the United States underwent the straining task of rehabilitating the Statue of Liberty.  It had been around 100 years since much had been done to the statue.  Private donations were sought after years before and finally they had the money to get it started.  In 1984 the largest free-standing scaffold ever assembled at over 300 feet in the air over Liberty Island was assembled.  This metal scaffolding boxed the nearly 100 hundred year old statue in.  The scaffolding was ugly of course to anyone looking at the statue from the outside, but what a tremendous work was being done on the other side of it.  The crew that worked on the statue cleaned her copper skin, repaired holes and tears in her body.  On July 4, 1984 the original torch had to be removed and replaced with a new one, because the old one was beyond repair.  A major overhaul was underway.

In our lives, we can find ourselves in despair and tragedy.  We may find ourselves out of work, in a divorce situation, child very sick, a parent with an illness, or whatever trauma event you can fathom.  The point is, any of us Believers will find ourselves behind the scaffolding of God’s mighty and sovereign work at some point in our lives and possibly more than once. 

In our prayer life, in keeping with another portion of Christ model prayer to us, “Your kingdom come” is the cry to heaven.  We all dream and yearn for the day when God will rule in righteousness over this entire earth again…free from sin and torment.  Also, this cry out to God that His will be done now, in the middle of our torment, trials, sweat, blood, and tears in this life.  Our hope is not just our future home in heaven, but our kingdom hope concerns our trials right now being used as a greater part of God’s sovereign plan.

This kingdom, much of the time, is built by God in total secret.  Understand this, that God is much of the time accomplishing most of His plan when it is the least evident to us that He is even doing anything.  He puts up the scaffolding of what we can call trials, tragedies, turmoil, suffering, or despair.  Then in the midst of that, He starts cleaning us up, “building His empire of love and glory”.  We will catch ourselves thinking God is silent in our lives, He has removed Himself from us, He no longer likes us, we cannot sense the warmth of His presence anymore and so on.  It is at this juncture of our lives that we can rest assured God is at His greatest work accomplishing the greatest good for us, for others, all the while accomplishing His perfect eternal sovereign plan.

Sir Winston Churchill of England found himself behind a very ugly scaffolding system in the 1930’s.  He had served the British military most of his young adult life, served in the parliament for years, and finally found himself at 56 years of age banished from parliament altogether with no influence on his party and no favor left with much of the British people.  He went back to his home at Chartwell, built walls, painted, played with his children and grandchildren and occupied his time as best he could keeping up with what was going on around the globe especially in Germany.  This was to be his greatest wilderness time and being behind the ugliness of the scaffolding around him was hard to bear.  However, it would turn out once the scaffolding was removed to be he and Britain’s finest hour.  Churchill emerged in 1940 as the wisest man Britain had ever known with his foresight on Hitler.  In late 1940, Churchill was again back in Parliament and ready to take Britain on to victory in WWII.

For most of us, we may never see a time as great as Sir Winston Churchill’s.  We may never be known by the millions of people in our country or around the world.  But whatever scaffolding God has placed around you, rest assure, God is at work in your life and whatever emerges once the scaffolding has been taken down, will be of His sovereign perfect will…it will be of His perfect plan.  You will be made ready to take on whatever God calls you to do. 

Remember, the scaffolding is only temporary…it is the secret work in our lives by the Master Builder.  Much like on July 4, 1986, when the scaffolding around the Statue of Liberty had been removed, a tremendous piece of work emerged and a great celebration was given…our lives will be much the same way.  Our God never leaves His sheep, He never leaves His people or His Church to the wolves…He is always at work in our lives for our greater good and His ultimate glory.  Through this we pray, “Your Kingdom come”!

 

 

“Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain.”  -Psalm 127:1

Scott Bailey © 2009

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