Recently I read the novel, Demon, by Tosca Lee. It is an intriguing look at the fall of man and God’s redemptive death on the cross through the eyes of a demon.
In the novel, the demon took the main character to an elaborate house. His dream house. Then, while he stood there, the house crumbled before his eyes and he realized it’s all but an illusion, a smoke screen, distracting him from what really matters. This image stayed with him through the rest of the novel, causing him to look past the superficial, to dig deeper, to question the substance and importance of everything he did and saw.
About five years back, we were living in Louisiana in our “dream home.” My husband was a top executive for Kansas City Southern and everything appeared to be going according to plan. At least, on the surface level. Until my husband went through a period of unemployment, we had to rapidly sell our home, load our newly purchased furniture into storage where it accumulated cobwebs and heat damage, uncertain of what lay ahead.
It was a frightening time, and honestly, one that rocked my faith for many reasons. Those who I wanted to count on started to judge my husband, leaving me in isolation. As events appeared to mirror some painful moments experienced in my past, fears and wounds previously shoved down resurfaced, until God cut through the exterior, straight to my heart. And in an unexpected moment of clarity, I understood what it meant to allow God to be your all in all. I knew if my worst fears were to come true, our family would be okay. We would have God, and that was enough. For years I’d said that, prayed that, sang that, but I didn’t truly get it–own it, until God stripped all the other stuff away. In that moment, I realized when it’s all said and done, only those things done in faith will matter.
Not that the house was bad, nor my husband’s job. They were tools, to be used for God’s glory. But when our eyes turned from God to the gifts He gave, they lost their value. They tarnished, tarnishing our hearts as well. They clouded our vision and it took a bit of spiritual eye-salve for God to turn our focus back to the bigger picture.
Honestly, now that the “stuff” has returned, it’s easy to lose site of the ultimate reality–God and His saving message. It’s easy to focus on the gifts instead of the giver, to think it’s all about us, for our pleasure, for our glory. But it’s not about us. It’s about knowing Christ and making Him known. God is a God of love and mercy, and He loves to bless His children for sure. But ultimately, He blesses us so we can be a blessing. Join me on Edwina’s blog as we talk about part III of the trickle effect: Blessed to be a blessing–surrendering our gifts and talents to God to be used as He wills. Laying everything at the foot of the cross so God’s love can be exponentially expanded through us.