As many of you know, our church is hoping to address some facility issues that hinder the effectiveness of our mission. As we have thought about this, the verse that continues to come to my mind is Psalm 127:1 “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.” In fact, I just prayed that prayer in a facility team meeting last night. However, the poetic response within that verse continues the thought, “Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.” Interestingly, this is today’s “Verse of the Day” from the YouVersion app – always a good memory verse for each day!
If I were to choose a different career path, it would probably be a design/build architect/contractor. I love the idea of designing a space, AND having the opportunity to see the vision come to fruition. I have built enough things from blueprint designs to know that materials and specific applications change the design – though it may look the same to the untrained eye. My paraphrase of Proverbs 16:9 – “In his heart, an architect chooses a design, but the contractor actually builds the house.”
We love to think that we are the masters of our own destiny. We think that we determine our own lives and do our best to determine the lives of our children and grandchildren – we are really not in control of the final product. The events of the last few weeks remind us that the best parenting does not guarantee a child’s safety. It is in these hours we trust in a Father in heaven who has our very best interests at heart – a Father who loves our children more than the best human father ever could.
The psalmist is not suggesting that the contractor not build the house. Nor is he suggesting that the watchmen go to sleep on the job. And I am not suggesting that the mother abdicate her responsibility to train her children in the ways of the Lord. But, I am suggesting that the father holds his children and their future with open hands before our Father in heaven.
I heard an interesting quote this week, and I can’t remember who made it! “Anything worth worrying about is worth praying for,” (sorry to the one who stated this). Paul states, “Be anxious for nothing, but present your requests to God with thanksgiving.” Jesus said, “Who can add a hair to his head by worrying?” The biggest struggle for any parent of adolescent children is learning to release our children to God, and not worrying about them. Let me say, concern is not the same as anxiousness, but if you are concerned – then pray! If you don’t have children to worry about, then pray for the children of your brothers and sisters, and the spiritual orphans in our church family.
I want nothing more than to see my children live productive lives in the Kingdom of God. Ironically, in order for this to actually happen, I have to be willing to hand the blueprint for their lives, designs that I have spent years drawing up, over to the Master Craftsman – He is actually the Founder and the Finisher of their faith, not me. All I do is come up with a plan, but He will determine my family’s steps. I do not fall asleep when I am supposed to be keeping watch – but I know that their safety is not determined by me. This is true for the local church family as well!