If you’re like me then you usually bite off more than you can chew. Mostly because you want to be good. You want to do your best. You have a deep seeded need to be valued and to deserve the love and the life you’ve always dreamed of. You want to be appreciated and admired without ever asking. You want to know that you did your very best and you’re positive that once you’ve done that, then everything else will fall into place because its only right – you earned it.
So you keep piling more and more bricks on your workload and yes your strength is increasing. You’re strong. You’re fierce. You’re twice the person you used to be and you’ve conquered so many obstacles you feel like you just might make it. You’re getting the hang of this thing called life.
Until that day… you pick up that one more ordinary, average size, not too far away brick, figuring “what harm could one more thing do?”
You pick it up and you toss it on your load (the load thats twice as big as you that everyone else sees and you pretend doesn’t exist because you’ve been carrying it so long you can’t remember life before.) Then it happens, despite your strength. You collapse.
The heap of bricks hits you – each one in a different place and you feel every sharp edge. You’re face down in the dirt with your heavy load on top of you as usual. Yeah, its still there, but now its different. Instead of your strength pushing up the load, the load is crushing every inch of your body. It’s hard to breath for two reasons: 1) because the weight on your ribcage is constricting the motion of your lungs and 2) because your air supply is polluted with the dirt and dust from impact of the fall itself. You are in pain. You are embarrassed; devastated; shocked. The bricks all around you overwhelm your line of sight. You can’t see past them. Each one represents a different burden, responsibility, secret, scar, fear, insecurity or even an unfulfilled dream. You are paralyzed by the thought of picking each one up one-by-one when it took a lifetime to gather them and stack them just right.
NOW… Cue the self-criticizing. “You should have known.” “This was avoidable.” “Nice one (insert name here.)” “Now what are you going to do?” “Can’t wait to hear it from ‘you know who’ about this one.”
So you lay there. You really don’t have a choice, honestly. As you lay there ironically you realize that this is the first time in a long time that you’ve “rested.” Granted, its not the most comfortable position or setting, but yes. You are being still and not really doing anything. Imagine that… This strange feeling, although the sting and soreness from your little spill are still real, is actually a bit of a release. So now you relax. You stop the negative thinking, the self-hate, and the reruns of your favorite worst-case-scenarios. Lying there with all your beloved bricks you ask a question. Not necessarily to yourself, because you’re still pretty puzzled. You ask it out loud. Not loud, just out loud. Just loud enough for someone to hear if they wanted to. “Why did I fall?” I’ve picked up much heavier bricks than that. I’ve loaded up ten bricks at one time before, juggled them and then hop-scotched across hot coals with my bare feet! I can handle it! What happened?
Brace yourself… wait foooooor it…. this ones a doozy. YOU fell because you are human. Human beings are limited. You are soooooo soooo strong, experienced, wise, and frankly awesome, but you got tired and you were to focused on everything else to notice. You prioritized every one of those bricks above your own wellbeing and essential needs. Not to mention the little treats only you can give yourself like choosing to be content, complimenting yourself so that you actually feel comfortable in your own skin or standing up for yourself when someone threatens your worth. You fell because you had to. You needed it.
Now in this resting state don’t struggle. Don’t strain. Just be still. He’s there. He’s moving the bricks one-by-one. (There are a lot). Because the load is so heavy you may not feel a change right away. Have faith. He is moving. I know you can’t see Him because your face is in the dirt but if you close your eyes and concentrate you’ll notice that the pressure on your lungs is lifting and you can breathe deeper than you could when you first found yourself here. Breathe deep. You should be able to turn your head a bit too so you can breathe the fresh air. Just focus on the basics right now. Breathe in, breathe out.
Wait wait wait! Slow down don’t try to get up. I know the pile is lighter now but give Him time. He’s handling it. You can trust Him. Keep resting. Heal up.
Ok, you can turn over, but move slowly. Be careful.
Yeah, see. You’re still sore. It’s ok just relax. Yeah that’s Him. You see His strong hands. He may not be moving at the pace you want but He’s steady. He will never leave you. He’ll keep going until He’s finished. The pile is more like a sprinkles on a cupcake now. Just a little here and there. Looks like a piece of cake!
He caught your eye. He knows what you’re thinking. He smiles calmly. Don’t move champ. I’ve got this. Let me finish, please. I have a plan. Be still. “Yes, I believe you,” You say back to Him with your eyes and you wait.
Ironically, it was harder for you to rest and wait than it was to carry all of those bricks around. I guess that’s why you needed it. You’re a different kind of strong now. You’re not just a raw, brute, strength plowing through life. You are a controlled, seasoned, refined and intentional masterpiece of poise and strength. You are not an obvious, over-compensating confident. You are now a modest, humble, I know exactly who I am and you do not affect that one bit. You are fearfully and wonderfully made and you are a good work that HE will complete. Now you walk standing straight up and not hunched under an oppressing pile of weight, because when He removed that last brick, He gently and firmly took your hand and lifted you up.
He said, “Its finished.” “Don’t worry about those things anymore. I’m taking them.” “You take mine in exchange.” He holds out one new brick. It’s different from your old bricks. Its different from any brick you’ve ever seen, actually. It’s perfect for one thing. “I didn’t know bricks could be beautiful,” You think to yourself. He smiles as you take it and examine it. “So smooth. So light. How can this be? This isn’t fair. This doesn’t make sense to me.” He puts His hands on your shoulders to ease your mind, looks into your eyes and says, “It isn’t supposed to be fair. It’s grace.” “I’m giving it to you. Please take it. I want you to have it. Let me do this for you.” You object. (You have to. You don’t understand), “But, Why?” and the tears flow. They flow because the feelings in your chest are overwhelming. The frustration of struggling to understand, the fear of it being to good to be true brings up the painful disappointments that you “got over” long ago, realizing that He doesn’t need or require anything from you (as awesome as you are) is a humbling experience you weren’t prepared for. This is too much to accept. “Just tell me why, please.”
He wraps His able arms around yours as you lower your head in exhaustion for all the emotion you feel and He softly tells you the truth, just loud enough for you to hear it if you want to. “I love you.”