I know very little about building anything; but I do enjoy working with wood. These days I have been working very hard building a couple of firewood sheds. I build a smaller one first with no problems. However, after I finished the second one, which was double in sizes, I discover a serious problem.
In Fairbanks, Alaska, unless you live close to the city and are able to pay big money for heating cost, you must prepare for the winter. I am ready for this upcoming winter, but no way near ready for the following. This is my third year in Alaska and this is the first summer I enjoyed something else other than cutting trees, splitting and staking firewood. I spend a great deal of time riding my bicycle. Then, as I was getting ready to start cutting, splitting and staking, I got hit with a surgery (Appendix) and a blood clot on my left leg.
So now I must work smart and recover some time in my quest for preparing for the next winter. After staking just one forth of the firewood into my brand new firewood shed, one of the 2 by 6 in the foundation collapsed. It was already late at night and no time to deal with that issue. Through the night a slept well, but woke up a few times thinking about and easy way to fix the problem.
It crossed my mind to place a few concrete blocks underneath the shed to avoid any further damage and forget about it until next year. After all, the firewood stayed nice and stack. But then, I considered the fact that I was not even half way, in terms of the amount of firewood I needed to stack and that further damage to my shed was going to be unavoidable. I thought about getting my SUV’s jack and lifting the whole thing with firewood and everything and then place the concrete blocks underneath. I was trying to avoid having to take all that wood out of the shed. But I also considered that lifting that damage area with all the wood in it could have cost more damage. So, I concluded that there was no way around this.
I woke up early the next day and began the process of emptying the shed all over again. Thank God I was not alone, my good friend Patrick Keyser, whom I share a home office with, came and helped me. We were done in no time. I then used my SUV’s jack, lift up the shed and placed concrete blocks and treated wood underneath the shed in every corner. Then, with the help of my son Brandon, we stacked the wood again. In a matter of just a couple of hours the issue was resolved and I was back on track to get ready for the next winter.
There are a few lessons learned in this small story:
1) Perhaps I needed to do a little more research in going from building the smaller shed to the bigger one. Some times we feel like we are ready for the next level, but in reality we are not just yet. The Bible does encourage us to be faithful in the little things (Luke 16:10).
2) In our lives some times we could be facing an issue of not being raise right, or we did not pay attention to our parents or develop bad habits, embrace the culture etc. These are contributing factors that are design to damage our foundation. As the issues of life, challenges, responsibilities and problems pile on, we will eventually crack if our foundation is weak. No matter how good we think we look on the outside; if the invisible foundation is not strong enough a part of us will give in. Speaking about foundations Jesus said the following,
“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.
26 “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: 27 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.” Matthew 7:24-27 (NKJV)
3) In fixing our foundational issues there is no magic formula. You must work at it. In the Pentecostal/Charismatic community there is a tendency to wait for the Baptism of the Holy Ghost to fix everything. But they neglect the fact that there is an equipping process that must take place (Ephesians 4:12-16). They also neglect that the great commission is all about teaching, demonstrating and living the commands of Jesus. In that we will find our solid foundation. Psalm 18:2 tells us that “The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.” (KJV)
4) Even as we have to work at it, we must remember that it is the Holy Ghost who makes everything possible; we must rely in him as our helper (John 14:26).
5) Even as we have to work at it and even as the Holy Ghost is our helper, God will also send people our way to help us and to fulfill the “One another” commands. I felt a little overwhelmed with all that is going on; family issues, church issues, working on my masters, work responsibilities and feeling behind in my winter preparation. But God send my dear brother in Christ and friend, Pat Keyser, to encourage and to help me get the job done. I later called my son Brandon and, in no time, before I knew it, the job was complete.
6) We all have issues in our foundation, cracks and weak areas. If we ignore them we will not be able to carry the weight of all that God has for us; but if we trust God, if we obey his voice, he will help us beyond our expectations, equip us, prepare us, restore us, strengthen us and get us ready for the next level.
I thank God for these lessons today. I thank God that even as I have issues; deep foundational issues, I am not hopeless. Even as I have not arrived, even as I developed some bad habits alone the way, even as I embraced ungodly cultural and family traits, there is still hope for me and there is still hope for you. I may need to get rid of some things, I may even have to empty myself from a lot of junk, but God is getting us ready to pour in us, ALL that we are called to have. Today I am “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our (MY) faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2 (KJV) Today I praise the Lord and give HIM glory for the lessons from my firewood sheds.