Are You Living In the Ruins?

Where do you live?

We live in a tiny 1960s farmhouse smack dab in the middle of our city. Weird, right? It works because I only ever wanted to be a teacher in a one room school house amid farmlands in some great state. The specifics didn’t matter.
Except it turns out I am allergic. To all of it. My state and any state where things grow in nature. All animals with fur or hair or saliva. And farms. I am allergic to farms and anything they would raise or grow or harvest. My problems run deep, but there isn’t enough space on all of WordPress to house them.
So where do you live?
Are you living in the ruins? In a field? Caves? Forts?

lost-places-1569703_960_720I am still studying through Ezekiel. It’s slow going because I keep getting hung up on how God speaks of his people. His beloved.

He says things like, “As surely as I live, those living in the ruins will die by the sword.”

So. Are you? Are you living in the ruins? Wondering what that looks like? Well God may have been speaking to Ezekiel literally. People literally living in the literal ruins. But I can’t help feeling he included this entire book in the Bible, so we could learn a lesson here as well.

Ruins can look many ways. They can be damaging words that someone spoke over us. They ruin us and create chasms between our ears and God’s lips, so we only ever doubt what he says about us. Is that where you are?

This can be broken relationships where one or all of you were wrong and instead of hugging and loving and saying, “I am sorry. I forgot to love you more than I love myself,” you hide in the shadows of the crumbled walls and pretend this is just how it’s supposed to be.

Ruins can also look pretty. A facade built by a space you sat in ages ago. A moment in time when you were so in God’s will you thought it would rip your heart out to ever have space between the two of you again.
And you’re up and running and still high on a joy spilling over from that mission trip. That outreach. That one time you listened to God and opened your home to an orphan or foster baby or runaway. Or you simply said enough is enough and you took back what was stolen-some innocence, or church family, or whatever.
That feels awesome. It reads right. Right? But you look around at your time line and suddenly it’s been five years since you were in that space and life has gotten in the way and you’re busy. So busy that your heartbeat has returned to yours alone, no longer able to keep time with God’s. You realize the stories you tell about closeness with God and his will and that path are old. Past tense.

These ruins are the most deceiving.

So where are you living? Are you in it? God’s perfect space? In his shelter?

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”

Psalm 91:1

Because, you know what? We do not live in the Valley of the Shadow of Doubt. Jesus said we walk through that place. We were never to remain in the doubt. In the caves. In the ruins.

So do it, friend. Whatever it is. Start with standing. Or start with kneeling. But start. And start with Jesus. He’s on your doorstep. Open the door. Open the window. Throw the shutters wide and call out his name.

I am praying for you, and I am sure hoping that you’re praying for me.