All I Am

"World's Apart" - Jars of Clay

To love you - take my world apart
To need you - I am on my knees
To love you - take my world apart
To need you - broken on my knees

All said and done I stand alone
Amongst remains of a life I should not own
It takes all I am to believe
In the mercy that covers me
It takes all I am to believe…
What does that mean? All I am. Does it mean all we do, does it mean all of our physical body, does it mean all we say. Or does it mean when everything seems lost, when all we are seems to be so small. When it takes every ounce of strength simply to move on, it’s those tiny strands of us which add up to all that I am. It takes all I am to believe.
I listen to that phrase and initially think that all I am is intended to add up to a lot. But really, it’s the times when life seems to shrink down to one sole event that I find myself looking for the most strength. So I pray, take my world apart…
Is that the most logical next step? It’s as if we’re saying “I’m barely holding together, it’s taking all I have just to be at the point I am, so just take it all apart.” It’s definitely a scarier next step. A safer option would be to say “Lord, just pull it all together for me. All I am seems so separate from one another, God, can you just take care of it and bring it all back together.” But instead, Jars of Clay suggests our next prayer should be to take my world apart.
I guess that sounds scary because at first it seems like we are asking God to simply take what is broken and make it even more broken. But then I started thinking of pictures of homes after Hurricane Katrina.
When I went down to Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina hit, the landscape was simply devastated. Trees lay bowed down along the side of the roads. Boats replaced cars in parking lots. Blue tarps replaced shingles. Life as these people once knew it was abruptly flipped upside down. All they were suddenly dwindled down to very little.
And yet our first task to help these homeowners out was to destroy their house.
I spent the good part of an entire week ripping out floor joints. You know, the boards that are responsible for holding up the rest of the house. Yet my job was to take them out. Take them apart from the rest of the house.
A few months later I was given the opportunity to go back down south and visit the homeowners. The house I had torn apart was completely different. Although I had removed what I thought to be some of the most important parts of the house, it was still standing and still functioning as a home.
Perhaps to take my world apart means to break it down to the basics in order to build it back up to something better, something stronger. It’s hard for me to really comprehend that idea because as an engineer, we are taught in order to make something better, we must build it up. But what if God doesn’t work that way. What if he wants us to allow him to break us down. To take our world apart. Again, kind of scary.

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