I am a Master Brick Layer…

Hi there, my name is Jeremy, it’s nice to meet you. What do you do…

This conversation probably looks somewhat familiar for when we meet new people, but what if we responded in a different way, what if we responded in a way that revealed who we really are? It might look something like this…

Hi there, my name is Jeremy, it’s nice to meet you. What do you do…

I am a master brick layer.

Really!?! That sounds difficult, how did you become a master brick layer?

Well it all started when I was young. You see people kept telling me in different ways how dumb and stupid I am. I remember being told to “try harder to keep up stupid” when I was about three as I was trying to keep up, but my little legs were so short I just couldn’t do it. I didn’t want to have to run after them, but it was the only way I could get close to meeting their expectations. Then at around age four I was coloring and I thought I was doing a great job, but all I remember hearing is, “can’t you do anything right, all you have to do is stay inside the lines, is it really that difficult?”

It didn’t stop there though, there were many instances along the way that led up to me being a master brick layer. I remember so many broken promises to be at my games, at my concerts, or to be at my birthday party that I started to become convinced that I was no good, that I needed to “try harder to keep up stupid,” that “I can’t do anything right,” that “it really isn’t that difficult.” So what did I do? I tried harder, I tried to do everything right, I tried to show that things really aren’t that difficult, but things didn’t change. No matter what I did it seemed like I always fell short. Don’t get me wrong, I was well loved and taken care of. I knew that my family and friends loved me and cared for me, but unfortunately I seemed to have held onto the negativity that would sometimes be portrayed whether intentional or not.

I guess you could say I started laying bricks pretty early in life. I remember crying in my room one night after I missed catching a ball at my game. Someone yelled out at me because they were upset, I had caused the other team to score, so I guess I deserved it but I didn’t mean to miss it. I remember I was still hitting the ball off of a tee so I was pretty young…yup that’s when I started laying bricks.

I started to lay bricks in an attempt to build a wall to help protect me from others. When I started to lay my bricks I never thought that the walls would become so big. All I wanted to do was create a little buffer between them and me so that I wouldn’t get hurt so much. I guess as I went on in life I got better at laying bricks and soon began to be able to lay whole rows of bricks at a time. Each time I failed someone or that someone hurt me I would lay more bricks. I started off laying the bricks a ways away from me so that they would just slow people down, but once I had the walls built and people were still hurting me I began to solidify the walls even more by adding more rows behind them and more rows behind those rows until you get what you see now.

I never realized when I started laying that I would have gotten so good. I am a master brick layer. No one can penetrate the walls that I have placed around me, but I also can’t get out either. I’ve tried to get out, I’ve tried to let people in, but the walls are just too thick, they are too tall. I’ve missed out on so many opportunities in life and in relationships because of my bricks. Sure there have been people that have come along to help me try to get out from behind my wall, but there were just too many bricks and they eventually gave up and moved on.

I never thought that I would feel so lonely, but I guess that when you are as good as I am at laying bricks it becomes difficult for people to get past them. It’s lonely inside these bricks that I have placed and unfortunately I have learned now that even with all of these bricks surrounding me that people are still able to hurt me from time to time. I still let people down, but now I am missing out on so much because I can’t get out from behind them. I feel like I’m stuck.

Yup, I’m a master brick layer alright!

bricks-167072_640We all have a natural tendency to want to protect ourselves. We don’t want to be hurt so we build up walls around us to keep the hurts out, the problem is that eventually the walls become really confining and the task of tearing them back down seems impossible, but there is hope. Are you a master brick layer? If so I know of someone who is great at tearing down walls of all varieties. His name is Jesus and He has come so that we may have life and have it to the fullest despite the enemies attempt to steal away our happiness, to kill our desires, and to destroy our lives (Jn. 10:10). He tells us, “in this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (Jn. 16:33). There is nothing in this world that Jesus has not overcome. He has power and dominion over all things and wants what is best for you, but it has to be your choice.

The psalmist says, “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold” (Ps. 18:2). We have to take refuge in Him if we want His protection. This does not mean that we will not face hardship, remember He just told us that we will have trouble, but through a lifelong process of relying upon His love and His mercies He will remove the walls that we have placed around ourselves if we let Him. Once the bricks are removed our protection comes fully from Him and I have to tell you that relying upon Him and Him alone is so freeing.

There is nothing that we can do apart from Christ to protect ourselves, to fulfill our lives, or to make ourselves happy. Sure there are things that can bring momentary happiness, but joy comes from the Lord, our protection comes from the Lord, and our purpose comes from the Lord. Will you lay down your bricks and trust in Jesus? He’s waiting for you and is ready to start being your refuge while removing the barrier between you and true happiness and connection. Will you trust in Him?

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How is your walk with God going today?

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