Over this past Christmas Karen and I were passing by a new assisted living apartment complex that is going up behind the gated villa community in Florida where my mother-in-law has a home. Each time we came in and out during our stay we had plenty of opportunity to observe the progress of construction. At the time they were at the stage where they were boxing in a form for the header at the top of the cement block walls. Once that form is in place they tie off the steel reinforcing rods to form a web that literally ties the header to the wall. They'll then pour concrete to cover the tied steel rods. The pour will bring the header up to a perfect level so that when the concrete is dry and the forms are removed the top of the wall will be prepared to hold the weight of the roof or second story.
Stay with me a moment…
Quite a few years ago, I had occasion to service a washing machine in the garage of a Florida home. As is typical of much of the building in S. Florida this one was also a CBS or Concrete Block Structure.
More often than not both the exterior and interior surfaces of the walls would be finished. In this particular case the inside of the garage had been left unfinished and you could easily see the block and mortar lines.
While waiting for the washer to run through a diagnostic cycle there was a point at which I began looking up and around taking particular note of the wall to my left. I was a bit taken back by what I saw. Somehow a couple of courses of blocks up from the foundation the block masons had apparently lost site of the level (story) lines they were to follow. By midway up a long wave took shape which continued in the successive courses until it was engulfed in the header.
Were they drunk? What unseen issue so affected assembly that the blocks were set off course?
What was so interesting to me was how they overcame the problem. They simply formed the header so that the final pour of concrete perfectly leveled the wall. The header tied it together and made the otherwise incurably crooked wall level.
There are many things in life I don't have the ability to control. Sometimes, even when I think I am doing the best I can things don't turn out so well under review. Then too I have been known to be downright belligerent, insisting on my own way.
At the heart of the story we call the Gospel of Jesus Christ is this fourfold truth: Our hearts are crooked; God loves us; Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners and Heaven is populated by crooked saints leveled by the pouring out of God's grace into our lives.
What's your story; sunken footers, crooked courses, facing a failed inspection?
Take careful note here. We cannot take an irresponsible view of the Gospel and say that it doesn't matter how we live because we can get it all leveled out by the grace of God in the end of it.
No, not at all!
In life there are very real consequences to crooked courses and life is so very much more complicated than a simple block wall. What the illustration does serve to say, and say well, is that when a life is turned over to God through trust in Jesus Christ, He will pour in His Spirit, make course corrections and warranty His work for final inspection.
Let God pour Himself into you and let His words have their way. Tell Him that's what you want, then trust Him to do it…
I Corinthians 3:9b,13a by way of personal application, "We are God's building...[And] every builder's work will be plainly seen because it will be revealed..."
Grace today y'all!