Amy Eksteen

One thing that I have learned about myself, especially in my twenty’s, is that I love reading. And not just reading in general, but reading pieces of writing like poetry, song lyrics or in fact, any random words jotted down onto a piece of paper.

There is something exquisitely special about reading the words of another person. It’s a window into someone else’s soul, a unique way of getting to see or understand the world that cannot be replicated or found anywhere else. It’s uncharted territory that you have yet to discover. It’s an adventure all on its own.

One of my favourite writers goes by the name of C.S. Lewis and recently, I happened to stumble upon one of his pieces of writing:

“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominable and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of -throwing out a new wing here, putting an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage; but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.” (C.S. Lewis)

When I read this, I couldn’t help by smile at the ingenious way the writer portrays the way God chooses to work.

The piece of writing starts off by explaining that it is easy to understand the simple and obvious renovations we expect God to make in our lives once we invite Him in and hand over the blueprints. These renovations are usually the expectant changes. You can see the need for them from a mile away. They might even be the renovations we, ourselves, had been planning to start and are therefore easy for us to accept. But when God decides to start making big, real and long-lasting renovations, that more often than not, really hurt, it leaves us confused. “What on earth is He up to?” might be the first question that pops into our heads.”Why is He breaking everything down and causing so much chaos and destruction?” we may ask ourselves. “I don’t understand any of this!” we might say. These are the renovations we usually don’t expect. They’re more complicated, needing more work than anticipated and they often take a lot of patience.

What I love most about this piece of writing is that the writer reminds us that sometimes we just don’t get to immediately understand the way God chooses to work or His plans for our lives. We also don’t get to comprehend the reasons behind His choices. And I agree, sometimes it can be really hard to trust Him. I don’t always get that part right. I think it can be hard for us to look at the new plans because it means that we aren’t in control anymore. We didn’t get to create and draw up the blueprints this time around and that can be a little intimidating. No wonder we sometimes react negatively. After all, we don’t want our house to fall and crumble. How can we possibly leave it in the hands of somebody else? It takes tremendous amounts of trust.

It‘s also hard for us to trust God because we can’t accept the radical and overwhelming changes He wants to make. It can be hard for us to understand because we tend to think that we aren’t worthy or that we don’t deserve the perfect plans waiting for us. However, I think that this piece of writing is a perfect example of why we choose to trust God anyway, through the good and bad times, through the pain and uncertainty. It’s because we know that He sees and comprehends much more than we could ever imagine. And it’s true! He has so many brilliant plans waiting around to completely reform and renew our lives – our ‘homes’.

I think the most important reminder to take away from this piece of writing is that God doesn’t come along, makes renovations and then leaves. Once you invite Him in, He plans to stay forever. He wants to share the space with you. “You are in Me, and I am in you” (John 14:20). He wants to choose your heart as His home and He wants to show you each and every day why He doesn’t want you to settle for a small, decent cottage when you are His son and/or daughter, His prince and/or princess, who deserve nothing less than a magnificent palace.

Stay tuned for next week where we will continue our conversation about trusting God.

Happy May xx