We spent part of the last two days building a fence.
More of a gate / fence combination, actually. To keep people out of the wooded acreage next to our house.
On the one hand, we are exhausted. It takes a lot of effort to build a strong fence.
Hauling five heavy, pressure-treated posts back and forth. Digging five post holes, each one three-feet deep. Alternating between a heavy spud bar and a post-hole digger.
Mixing and pouring concrete into the holes, along with gravel and dirt. Creating a strong foundation to hold each post firmly in place.
Drilling holes for foot-long bolts upon which to hang the heavy, metal ten-foot gate. Stringing four rows of wire across a span of twenty feet.
Yes… on the one hand, we are exhausted! Yet on the other hand, we are well pleased with the result! We accomplished our goal!
This gate will be locked, barring entry to all but those we permit. And in a nice “twist,” it is more than just functional. It is also beauiful in its own way. Shiny green metal gate.. Shiny silver wire.
I had to chuckle, Lord. This activity in the last two days is so foreign to my life now.
There was a time when I was a Master Fence Builder. I had become The Expert at building the kind of solid, functional FENCE that kept everyone out. Out of my heart and out of my life. And I made my FENCE beautiful in its own way. Transforming that old expression “Look but Don’t Touch” into an art form.
By Your Amazing Grace, Lord, I now spend my life helping people tear their fences down.
Facing the fears that first motivated their fence building. Discovering the lies that first made those fences seem so attractive… and almost inevitable. Finding and embracing Your Truth, Lord.
“I, the Lord, speak the truth; I declare what is right.” (Isaiah 45:19c)
Truth that dismantles fences that had, in reality, become prisons. Truth that helps those prisoners throw open the gates of their hearts to You, Lord!
“Here I am! I stand at the [gate] and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the [gate], I will come in and eat with him, and he with Me.” (Revelation 3:20)
Your enemy would want us to believe it’s too exhausting to dismantle those fences. After all, we have built them and fortified them well… perhaps even for decades. He would rather we sit back now and accept them as part of us.
He doesn’t want us to know that keeping those fences — maintaining them, reinforcing them — is the most exhausting work of all.
But You, Lord, are not “into” such fences that exhaust as they bind and imprison. You are much more “into” FREEDOM that releases us into ABUNDANCE!
“I am the Gate; whoever enters through Me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have Life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:9-10)
“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36)
What’s the Secret to Freedom from our fences Lord? Working even harder to tear them down than the work we did to erect them in the first place?
It’s another one of Your priceless paradoxes… isn’t it, Lord? Because the Secret is not more work… It is more surrender.
“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Come near to God and He will come near to you.” (James 4:7-8a)