Hello again, my lovely readers! I decided to take a week off, because everything seems to be happening all at once. The end of my first half of my masters and moving into a new apartment, dear Danielle and my life has been surrounded by boxes and planning. Luckily, I am now writing from our office space here, and though surrounded by boxes of our lives, I am grateful for this continued journey. Whenever I move I tend to get introspective, and I was thinking about the road of life. New places and faces, and the unknown ahead of you, all while never turning out the way we might think. If I’m honest, these are hard moments for me; I would love my life to play out exactly the way I want, to have a house with space to host people and to write all day with dear Danielle, but life doesn’t move like that. It moves on how God chooses to direct us.
That’s what I have to remind myself and it’s what gives me hope in all that I don’t know yet, that everything begins on a foundational relationship.
As I was working on school, I had two separate assignments, that were unrelated but combined in a beautiful way. Don’t worry, I won’t repost those pages of work, but I would like to share some beauty that God’s word revealed.
I was doing a word study on a Psalm, Psalms 127:1 to be specific, which says, “Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches the city, the guards stand and watch in vain.” I looked at the word “labor,” in Hebrew and it was a unique experience. The context of this verse is Solomon in the midst of restoring his temple, and the word he uses for labor, ʿāmal, which means “to toil” or “to toil aimlessly.” You just learned some Hebrew! (Congrats!) Solomon is saying that unless God goes ahead of you in leading, the effort you make will be aimless.
In a different paper, I was looking at Romans 7:7-25, which is a famous section where Paul is talking about how he knows the right things, yet fails to do them. The context is him sharing how he once knew all that must be done in the old law, yet also realizing that it is hopeless to achieve that. He voices the daily battle we all fight with sin, and speaking on how the battle seems hopeless, and at the end of his struggle, he says this in verse 25. “Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Paul says this because he knows, just like all of us, we alone will fail, but Christ never fails.
As I was writing these papers, it reminded me of what Jesus said when asked what the greatest commandment is. He simply replies in Matthew 22:37, “Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, soul, mind, and strength.” What I think is beautiful, is that this is the core to everything. Theology is really pretty simple, it comes down to loving God with everything and loving others like yourself. Solomon understood that without God, the temple was meaningless. Paul understood that even if you know what to do, you’ll never be enough on your own merits. Jesus calls us to simply have a relationship with Him. He was perfect, making the ultimate sacrifice so that we could be with Him. That foundational relationship is all that he asks for, you may have a past filled with mistakes and hurts that were done to you, and you may screw up in the future, yet in all of that Jesus knows you and knows who he has created you to be. He calls you worthy of love, and simply asks that you build your life on a foundational relationship with Him.
As I’m sitting here with boxes, I am thankful that life doesn’t go according to my plan. My plans are imperfect and one sided, but God’s plan is multi-faceted and has a place for me in that sweeping landscape. There is a place for you, and there is a creator that says you are worthy of love and have a purpose for your life. Step into your purpose and build your life on a foundational relationship with the creator of all things.
About the Author: Joshua Thomas is a writer by day and superhero by night. When he’s not writing and crimefighting, you can find him reading a good book, sipping warm tea, taking pictures, or dreaming. The young writer doesn’t fully know what he’s doing, but is enjoying the journey of it all. You can follow his hipster photos and Jack Kerouac musings on Instagram @joshua_thomas__