During my first year of teaching, I moved into a new apartment with a huge walk-in closet. I was excited about the vastness and space that was available in the closet. I absolutely love shoes and clothes, so the large closet made me extremely happy. I decided to buy a shoe rack to store some of my shoes as a way to best utilize the space. So, I headed to Target and picked up one of the types of shoe racks that you have to assemble yourself. When I got home, I was eager to put together the shoe rack and begin putting my shoes on it. However, assembling this particular shoe rack was one of the hardest things that I have ever done in my life. There were poles that needed to fit in notches and plastic brackets to hold it all together, and for some reason all the pieces did not want to fit together properly. Every time I thought I was finished, I would watch the metal poles slip through the holes and the entire rack fall to ground. After hours of assembling this shelf, I just sat on the floor and cried in frustration. I couldn’t understand why it wasn’t working. I had all the right pieces, and I knew where they were supposed to go, but they just wouldn’t fit.
How many times in our own lives have we had the right pieces, but we just couldn’t make them fit? I think when we are the carpenters of our own lives, the pieces will never go together as they should.
Eventually, I did get the shoe rack assembled, with the help of a lot of duct tape and tons of sweat, frustration, and tears. The crazy thing about that shoe rack was it never actually stayed together. On countless occasions, I would go to pull a shoe, and the entire rack would come crumbling down. At first, I met this with more frustration and a lack of understanding. However, I got to the point that year that when the rack fell, I rebuilt. You can never give up on anything, even if it seems as trivial as a shoe rack. We are all God’s shoe racks, he puts us together, and we fall apart. Instead of waving his hands in frustration, he picks up all of the pieces and rebuilds us again and again and again.
Where do you go when the pieces fall? Do you attempt to rebuild your own shoe rack? Or do you let God put the pieces exactly as they should go?
For most of my life, I thought I was building my own rack, controlling my own life, and time and time again, my rack fell to the ground with a large bang. Now, as I see God as the owner of my whole life, I know he controls the pieces and will build the rack with a sturdy foundation, such that if it falls, I know he is ready to pick up the pieces and build again. I thank God that he never gives up on us, even when we think the shoe rack will never be operational.