You know that thing where you've heard something a thousand times, but one day it hits you in a new way? I've heard the hymn, "Christ the solid rock," off and on through my church-going years. If you're unfamiliar with it, the lyrics say:
My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness,
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
but wholly lean on Jesus' name
On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.
Usually, if I dwell on this song, I focus on what it means for Christ to be a solid rock. But the other day, I was hit by "all other ground is sinking sand." All other ground is sinking sand. As in all. Everything. Anything we stand on that isn't Christ is sinking sand.
That's not to say they're necessarily bad things, but if we try to finagle them into a role that only Jesus was meant to fulfill, it's going to mess us up. We're going to sink.
I started making a mental list of everything I either have "stood" or find myself "standing" in. By which I mean the things I find myself relying on to fulfill me, to make me feel good about myself or the decisions I'm making. The things that I use to gauge whether or not I'm measuring up.
Here are a few I came up with:
People's opinions of me
This is especially hard when we're talking about people I love and respect, like my parents or my husband or friends at church. I want them to think well of me, but I can get carried away by their opinions of my choices and completely forget to ask God what He thinks I should do.
My prestigious high school
It feels good when we're chosen, doesn't it? At one point in time, my high school felt like the ticket to bigger and better things. But Jesus is the only one who holds that power.
It was my dream ever since I was a little girl, and I often thought so long as I achieved it, I would be forever content. Nope.
Good reviews of my books
These are so fun to read, and they make me feel like I did so well with the story God gave me. Bad reviews, however, make me feel like I somehow failed God. The truth is, so long as I'm doing my best to serve Him through writing, the reviews are nothing more than a blip of an earthly reward.
My comfortable house and safe neighborhood
At our neighborhood in Orlando, we occasionally heard gun shots at night, and the FedEx guy once warned me about not opening my door for "just anybody" because someone had apparently been raped in the apartment complex next to us. I often felt nervous going to and from our place.
But here in Overland Park, I'm hardly ever nervous. It's important to recognize how God's blessed us with a nice home and safe streets, but He should be my ultimate security.
The cleanliness of my house/yumminess of the dinner I made/happiness of my kids/and the check marks on my to-do list
It's easy to feel good about my life, good about me, on those days I'm doing everything "right." When I accomplish everything I meant to and my 9-month old isn't shoving dust bunnies in his mouth because I actually vacuumed. But God loves me even on the days that I don't vacuum and don't mark a thing off my list.
What about you? What are some things you "stand" or rely on?
Stephanie Morrill is a twenty-something living in Overland Park, Kansas with her husband and two kids. Her only talents are reading, writing, and drinking coffee, so career options were somewhat limited. Fortunately, she discovered a passion for young adult novels a few years ago and has been writing them ever since. Stephanie is the author of The Reinvention of Skylar Hoyt series and is currently working on other young adult projects. She enjoys encouraging and teaching teen writers and does so on her blog www.GoTeenWriters.com. To connect with Stephanie and read samples of her books, check out www.StephanieMorrillBooks.com.