Slashing The Foundation, Or The Childhood Fears That Rollover Like Minutes

I broke my blogging routine last week by missing a post on Thursday. I’ll just assume you didn’t know what to do with the extra 7 minutes that day so you stared at the ceiling. I may try to write 4 posts this week but I’m also going to close on my first home in a day or two, so we’ll see.

I want to change directions today. Lately I’ve been talking about Christian issues at a very macro level, but today I want to switch and get more personal. I want to talk about a fear I have.

It’s been around since I was a little kid with my butt parked in a pew. The fear is born out of the innumerable sermons I heard 2-3 times a week, and I’m surprised by just how often it steps out of hiding in my mind.

The fear is that God is going to cause my entire life to crumble.

Not for ill intent of course – but so he can put me back together piece by piece. Frequently I heard testimonies who said that God had to take away everything from them in order to rebuild them in his image. They had to lose everything around them so they could see God uninterrupted.

It meant a lot heartbreak. It was excruciating. It was disillusioning. Most people that testified about this went through it kicking and screaming.

The premise makes sense – when we build our own lives our foundation isn’t right, and it doesn’t matter how beautiful the house is that sits upon a shaky foundation. So therefore God breaks us down, like Job, so that he can refashion us like he did with Paul.

I’m probably not doing a good job of explaining this, but it was a common theme in my church.  I heard those stories all the time, so much so that this fear is one that refuses to die out. I’ve refuted a lot of what that church taught me, but for some reason this one has stuck around the depths of my mind.

Sometimes I think this destruction is inevitable for my life – that one day it’ll come and there’s nothing I can do about it. Other times I think if I just behave enough or do good enough it’ll keep God at bay (nope, can’t pop a hole that in that balloon!)

And the last few years my life has grown considerably. I married. I have a beautiful little daughter. I worked hard to achieve my drug and alcohol counseling license. As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I am buying my first home.  I hope this doesn’t sound like I’m storing up treasures on earth, but really I like what I have. I know I know, it would be a glorious thing to have God redeem me from head to toe, but let’s be honest – I still don’t want that pain.

Though it may sound like God isn’t numero uno in my life – I don’t want to lose my new house, let alone my family. I think this why this fear has come back around, because I have so many good things going on, and who would ever want to lose those?

So there is no resolution to this post. It’s just me sharing my fear. Have you ever heard these stories or had these fears? Any words to speak to them?

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10 Responses to Slashing The Foundation, Or The Childhood Fears That Rollover Like Minutes

  1. I have often had that same fear charlie. Because of guilt over sin, I have hunkered down in guilt wondering when the day will come that God will take away everything I have (wife, children, church, house, etc) to teach me a lesson. I don’t have it often but occasionally I do, especially when I read or hear about brokenness. Now…I don’t believe He does that but it is ingrained in me from hearing and reading it. It passes but for the time being it was real. I don’t have any solutions either but thanks for letting me know I am not alone in this.

  2. David says:

    When I first became a Christian, I thought nothing could go wrong. I was flying high, and loving every minute of it. I put away the drugs and alcohol, and learned to live life differently. I even got involved in ministry – and with it came the crushing reality that I was not prepared for life, nor ministry.

    I have one of those testimonies, the kind where I lost it all. I don’t have fear any longer, because Jesus said “lay down your life” for me. I had no idea what the cost of following him would be – who knows, it may cost me my life some day.

    I suppose that when we are just doing religious stuff, the devil doesn’t really care. There are loads of Scriptures, and Keith Green like testimonies that point to that fact. The spiritual reality is this: Our lives are not our own.

    1 Corinthians 6:20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

    No one wants to suffer loss, it is unfortunate, that for some, that is the only time they turn to God (like after 9/11). And like Bill, the guilt of sin can certainly take over in my life; I’ve had plenty of that.

    We often hear “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” quoted. It is only in context of knowing how to live in time of lack, and of plenty.

    I guess the real question is, at what point to stop loving God when things start to go wrong? Hmmm…..

    • I know Keith Green was a musician, but I don’t know a darn thing about his story, so I’m not sure what point you were trying to make there.

      And I definitely don’t want to stop loving God, even if I lose it all, but I’d rather just not lose it all in the first place. (I could handle losing the job and house, though it’d be tough, however I couldn’t handle losing my family).

  3. jay @ bethegospel says:

    I used to have a hard time in college having an intangible God first in my life (whatever that even means anyways) before my very tangible and hot girlfriend. I understand what youre saying.

  4. Su says:

    Yes, yes, and … not really. I’m so helpful. :/

    My first thought is usually, “Check the foundation”. Is the centre of my life still the Lord? Is something keeping me from my relationship with him? With my husband?

    I tend to think the actuality of “God took everything away” is less common than it sounds from hearing sermons about it. On the other hand, the point is usually that God will do what he must to get my attention– so, I’ll just give him my attention now.

    That’s not to say I don’t think God will never take things away, if necessary. But I do these self-checks to be sure there’s nothing there that needs to go. And if there is, I’ll do everything I can to get rid of it.

    • I think it is less common than the sermons let on. However I do think God knows how to get each individual’s attention, which is my fear. And for me, if I fear that and so give him my attention, then our relationship is based in fear, not love, and is likely not a true relationship.

  5. Larry Hughes says:

    We all have fears in our lives of some sort. Just depends on your make up and prior history. My only real fear is flying. Just can’t get attached to being in a plane where I have no control of it’s out come. If I am flying the plane, I am ok. If some one else is flying the plane, Katie get me outta there. Kinda feel that way when riding in a car too but not as severe.

    Do I fear God? Lets just say I have a deep respect and love for Him. ( like my dad when I was a child). Certainly some one you would want to please. I don’t think God wants to destroy you to get a point across. He might use motivational tactics to get you turned around. If that don’t work, most of the time yourself will do the destroying leaving God to pick you up by the boot straps and reshape you.

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