Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.
I have been memorizing this verse this week as a homework assignment for the Entrusted With A Child's Heart curriculum that I am currently going through with my moms' group. I tend to have a difficult time memorizing anything (which is why a Nursing degree didn't go so well and I decided to be an art teacher instead), and have really been treating my scripture memory as merely homework. It's hard work! Finding time to memorize and study these verses to commit to memory is not easy for me. (I have discovered that much of the "not having time" tends to be a personal choice in how I choose to spend my spare moments, and it turns out I am not spending them very well.)
I guess what I am trying to say is that I have been looking at Scripture memory as a homework assignment. And what I didn't expect, is the Lord to speak to me through the numerous repetitions of this simple verse. These words have been running through my head and changing my heart since last Monday, reminding me of who God IS even in my daily routines and activities.
Unless the Lord builds the house... as I argue with my husband for something I was holding against him and then realize mid sentence that I am not, in that moment, allowing the Lord to build the "house" of our marriage.
Unless the Lord builds the house... as I discipline my daughter out of anger because I have been thoroughly inconvenienced by whatever she said or did. And I hear these words resonate in my heart as I have, once again, taken parenting into my own hands, in a vain attempt to be the builder.
Unless the Lord builds the house... while I try and figure out a formula or system or some crazy way to cause our Gospel Community to fall desperately in love with the Savior, when in reality, unless the Lord builds it, we truly labor in vain.
Unless the Lord builds the house... as we transition into expanding our home and family while my sister lives here, and life has altered. I learn to be flexible, and learn to be in control of my emotions. I learn to be a friend. I make the choice to let the Lord build this, because in the past, I have failed miserably.
Unless the Lord builds the house... as I struggle to babysit two extra kids and feel completely overwhelmed as a parent with four young kids in the house. And I realize once again that being a foster parent will probably be the hardest thing we have ever done. And we can't even attempt to do it alone.
I don't want to labor in vain. I don't even want to spend my life "trying" to get it right, or parent well, or make it work. I am always trying to build everything in my life myself. My daily living, my activities, my plans for present and future. Trying to figure out what I have to do so my girls turn out well, how to be a full time mom and an artist at the same time, how to maintain good friendships, how to build and be a part of a healthy, gospel centered community. The list goes on. I want to fabricate everything in my life so that it works well for me and to make sure that I am doing nothing that is pointless or meaningless, and everything that is right and good. But God doesn't call us to that. He only calls us to HIMSELF. He calls us to love Him. To be changed by Him. And to then live out the calling we have received.
He calls us to surrender our vain attempts at construction, and let Him alone be the Master Builder.
Unless the Lord builds the house.