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Jul 14 2017

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Are You Building a Sandcastle Life?

I’m joining the writers at Five Minute Friday. The word is comfort. As I pondered the word comfort and the idea of praying the truth about yourself, I thought about truth and lies. And that led me to sandcastles.

Are You Building a Sandcastle Life?

Go.

She diligently fills the buckets of wet sand. Turning them over, she builds her castle. Back and forth, she makes more wet sand and adds to her creation. The work of play is hard, but she doesn’t see it as work. She’s creating. The world of castles and princesses dance in her head. She knows the stories that will happen in her magical, imaginary world. Once the pieces are all in place, she sits back and rests and admires her masterpiece. Bringing me over to look, she revels in the glory of it.

The girl continues her play, telling stories around the castle, but she doesn’t notice the water’s edge creeping closer. Little by little, her castle will be no more. The water will soon end her masterpiece and join the sand back to nothing. That’s just what sand does when the power of water overtakes it. Sandcastles never last. And while they are fun for the moment, they aren’t what lives are built on. They’re here for the moment and gone.

A sandcastle life doesn’t get the comfort of lasting stability that only a solid foundation can provide. But we don’t always know what we’ve built upon until the waves come and wash it away.

Stop.

Sandcastle living

A child building a sandcastle is awesome. Sandcastle play is fun, however sandcastle living is devastating. When we don’t cling to truth, we’re building our lives on something that cannot last. The waters of life come and wash away what we’ve built. Instead of finding something solid, sometimes we take the same sand and build again without ever considering that there could be another way.

Comforting lies

We don’t set out on believing lies. Instead, they creep in unnoticed. Many of the lies we hold as absolute truth were first believed in childhood. If our thoughts aren’t checked, we are subject to believing lies built upon lies. The grain-like false beliefs don’t seem like much but add up over time. The most destructive lie is a comforting lie. A comforting lie is a partial truth we tell ourselves that keeps us comfortable enough to stay imprisoned. The lie prevents us from living the life God wants while telling us life is good as it’s going to get.

From sandcastle to solid-castle living

We’re all building our lives on what we believe to be true. If we feed ourselves lies, we cannot stand firm when troubles come our way. Comforting lies are the most insidious because, on some level, they’re working for us. The thought of letting go of those lies means facing the unknown. When hardship comes, we fall and use more lies to prop ourselves up.

We’ll continue to build our sandcastle lives until the pain of living like that is no longer acceptable, and we’re willing to face whatever it takes to discover another way. For some of us, we’ll get to utterly miserable before we’ve had enough.

But how do we shift from sand to something more solid?

We ask God, through his word, to teach us the truth about him and the truth about ourselves. As we learn Biblical truth about who God is and who we are, we respond to him in prayer. (Read about praying the truth about God here.) When we pray the truth, we align our thoughts with God’s and begin building on a solid foundation. Praying the truth about ourselves not only reconciles us to him as we confess our sin, but it also invites us into discovering our true identity in Christ—giving us meaning and purpose in life.

Be warned

Be warned. Those lies that have been there for so long aren’t going away without a fight. You’ll know they’re desperate because they’ll speak words of fear until you climb back into your chains or until they’re defeated with rock solid truth.

Be warned. Living in truth isn’t living a safe life. God doesn’t guarantee a life of comfort.

Are you building a sandcastle life or a solid-castle life?

One day, someone gave me devastating news. I heard the words, and the path before me shone black clouds of pain ahead. I walked away from that conversation and felt unexplainable heartache. The grief was so strong, I couldn’t imagine how I’d live through it. I questioned everything about my faith and considered giving up on God entirely. I didn’t know who I was anymore and wondered if life could have meaning again. I didn’t know it then, but the pain exposed huge lies I had hidden deeply in my heart. I felt crushed and lost. It was in this place of misery that I knew I had to discover another way. Over time, and lots of soul-searching and hard work, I started building my life on truth.

Many years later, and on another day, someone else gave me devastating news. I heard the words, and the path before me looked horribly bleak. I walked away from that conversation and felt unexplainable . . . peace. The peace surprised me, and I thought I must be in shock. No one hears that kind of thing and feels peace. Instead of shock, I had a real clarity: I knew who I was and Whose I was. I wasn’t alone in the journey no matter how dark the days or difficult the struggle. In that moment, I realized I was not banking my life on a pile of shifting sand.

Inviting God into the process

Everyone’s lives are different. Hard times come to us all, but those difficulties have power to show so much. Even without hardship, we can invite God into the process and ask him to reveal lies and truth.

Ask God to expose to you lies you’re believing and to tell you the truth about yourself. Ask others for feedback. When you spend time in God’s word, ask him to tell you what is true about you.

Would you consider signing up for the PARK Plan?

The PARK Plan

This email series begins with praying the truth. Sign up here.

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2 comments

  1. Leah

    Powerful words. God is washing away some sand castles in my life right now and it is as painful as seeing my creations washed away by waves. But I trust that God will comfort me in this even as He refines me.

    Thanks! (I’m your FMF neighbor this week!)

    1. Cheryl

      I am praying for you right now believing he is able to both comfort perfectly and refine you into who he wants you to be.

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