That sinking feeling

December 14, 2010 — Leave a comment

I grew up in the land of potholes. I learned to scan the road ahead and dodge the tiny craters that can threaten to blowout a tire. Sometimes I suffered a jarring thump when I overlooked one. There are a fair number of potholes here too, caused by the stress of traffic and overloaded trucks.

Sinkholes are different. Some form naturally, as limestone or sandstone dissolves. Others are man-made, like this one that appeared in our neighborhood.


The pressure of water from very heavy rains caused a drainage pipe to break at the connection point. This break washed away the dirt under the asphalt until the road above did not have any support and collapsed. For some time cars drove over the place, without knowing a problem lurked underneath. But then one morning, the road gave way and a car ended up in the hole.

My DH, as they say in the blogsphere [dear husband, not designated hitter] had some wise reflections on this:
“When we come to church, we can be like the road on Avenue Tadla. Everything looks normal but underneath trouble is brewing and a breakdown can be just a matter of time. Many of us are carrying anxieties that we do not share with each other. Sometimes this is because we don’t want to be that vulnerable and sometimes it is because we are not permitted to share what is making us so anxious.

It is necessary to have close friends with whom we can share the difficult and painful issues in our lives . We need to do what we can to find the strength we need from each other to handle the tensions we experience. This is important but we need more than human help to face the tensions of life.

What is really so wonderful is that God who loves us does not deal with us on a superficial level. While we may be able to put on a game face and go out into the world and to church and hide our concerns, God sees deeper into us that we can ourselves and it is at that level that God deals with us.

The Holy Spirit who is at work in us to make us holy does not deal with haircuts and manicures and makeup. The Holy Spirit is doing a deep work in us and wants to make us strong by being strong at our core so the surface does not collapse. The Holy Spirit does not simply put up braces to keep the outward appearance looking good, he builds us up so that we stand on a solid rock, well supported to face the difficulties of life.”

It’s been almost three weeks since the sinkhole appeared. Since then it’s become a much bigger and deeper hole as a crew slowly works to scrape out and shore up the hole. It’s going to be a long careful job to get it ready to be refilled.

When sinkholes appear in our lives, it can be devastating. It can feel hopeless. But I was reminded of something Corrie Ten Boom’s sister , Betsie, said shortly before she died. “No pit is so deep that He is not deeper still.” Yes, God is equal to the task of bringing wholeness to my heart.

Those who enter into Christ’s being-here-for-us no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud. A new power is in operation. The Spirit of life in Christ, like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing you from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death.

God went for the jugular when he sent his own Son. He didn’t deal with the problem as something remote and unimportant. In his Son, Jesus, he personally took on the human condition, entered the disordered mess of struggling humanity in order to set it right once and for all. The law code, weakened as it always was by fractured human nature, could never have done that.

The law always ended up being used as a Band-Aid on sin instead of a deep healing of it. And now what the law code asked for but we couldn’t deliver is accomplished as we, instead of redoubling our own efforts, simply embrace what the Spirit is doing in us. Romans 8:1-4 The Message

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