Blog #18

In the last two weeks I've found myself in the curious situation of needing to tear down some old fences in one location and build new ones in another. I'm not talking metaphorically here. These are real fences and they have taken real effort to remove and build. Having said that, the removing has been a lot easier than the building. A very large sledge hammer and several swings later dealt with fence posts that had to be taken out due to the imminent arrival of a double decker bus (recently bought for the use of our youth groups at Poverest). It must be added at this juncture, that I've had to keep my nerve over this bus; each time one has passed me on on the road I've realised just how big they are and a sense of panic has firmly gripped me by the throat. Hence the frantic ripping down of fences on the church site to make room. 

Now the other fence I mentioned earlier is at the end of my garden and, ignoring my wife's sensible advice to 'get a professional in', I proceeded to commence with the work of rebuilding it myself full of confidence that this job would be done in no time. Yesterday, I began to get the last panel in place having spend many hours over the last two weeks doing the best I can to get a sturdy fence installed that would meet my neighbour's scrutiny. All is well I hear you say. Well, not quite. It was all ok up until the point when I noticed I had fixed the previous panels upside down and would have to remove and fit them all over again. 

Moreover, this heartache was nothing compared to the sheer effort of getting the fence posts solidly in the ground with vertical accuracy and, in truth, it was only the very last one that I felt really happy with. With this particular one, I dug down deeper, took out more stones and cut the roots back further. It took much longer than the others but only when I was satisfied did I put the post in. Thinking about it now, I reckon this is the post that will hold the whole fence up the next time there's a gale (I hope!)

God wants us to stand vertically in the gale (in fact He holds a plumb line up to see how upright we are and that plumb line is the perfection that is Jesus). But to achieve this God will dig down deep to make our foundation secure and he'll remove the stones and old roots that get in the way of His purposes and this takes time and effort and a degree of heartache. So if you are wondering what God is doing with you and why life can be so tough at times remember it's only the fence posts that are deeply set and solid that will take the weight of the storm when it comes.