Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Image copyright Ian Ho 2010 (Click to enlarge)

Whatever you're caught up in, set aside some time to refresh and recharge.  We all need this simple reminder.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

When Everything Falls

Images and post by Ian Ho

It's amazing how God uses the most mundane things to inspire.

I was walking home just now and passed by this particular house, at the end of the road, under renovation works. Wooden boards surrounded the house, and from the front my eyes saw a mess - a clutter of wooden scaffolding, sand, bricks, construction materials and what not. I recalled how this house used to look like before the wreck that it is now, and that's when the analogy struck me: Like this torn-apart building, sometimes God tears apart things in our lives too, because He wants to rebuild them into something new, something better. I'm sure the renovated house will look much cooler than it was before.. if not, what's the point?

This concept of tearing apart to build up again... did you know it happened during Bible times? Perhaps Noah understood it best - he and his family were the only ones who lived through the big flood, saw everything get wiped away and put back together again. (Yes, kinda like Deep Impact :D)

Now why did God do that? I mean, when he created mankind and everything, He did say that it was good, right? Genesis 6 explains it, and also captures God's sadness and anger.

The LORD saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. The LORD regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. So the LORD said, “I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them.”
Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence. God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways. So God said to Noah, “I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth.

Genesis 6 is all doom and gloom. When something goes so wrong, so ugly, I guess it's natural to want to destroy it all, start afresh. But there's a happy ending to it all. After He wiped the earth away, when the flood subsided and Noah the faithful came out to "increase in number and fill the earth", God promised never to repeat history again.

“As long as the earth endures,
seedtime and harvest,
cold and heat,
summer and winter,
day and night
will never cease.” -Gen 8:22

Maybe Noah's story is happening right now in your life.

Sometimes we can't see the full picture - things seem to be falling apart, tearing at its seams, life looks all wrong, like nothing's going right, no prayer being answered. But look at it from another perspective: maybe He's tearing you down just to build you up again, to build something even better than before.

I'm reminded of the verse in Haggai that my church's youth ministry held on to as we embarked on our own season of breaking down and building up:

“This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘In a little while I will once more shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land. I will shake all nations, and what is desired by all nations will come, and I will fill this house with glory,’ says the LORD Almighty.
The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,’ says the LORD Almighty.

The simple truth here is this: when everything falls, remember it's a time of transformation, not demolition. The ending will be blue skies and red roses, so hold on!

Sorrow will last for the night
But hope is rising with the sun, its rising with the sun
There will be storms in this life
But I know You will overcome, You have overcome