Builder and Wrecking Ball

Read: Jeremiah 23:23-29

Is not my word like fire, declares the LORD, and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces? (v. 29)

In her 2003 song “Wrecking Ball,” Jill Phillips wrote a jarringly honest lyric I’ve often appreciated: “Triumph and tragedy, only God can be / Both the builder and the wrecking ball.”

Like Phillips’ lyric, this passage from Jeremiah can feel hard. God expressed such anger at shepherds who had scattered his flock, false prophets who had mishandled his words, and people who had forgotten his name. The hope here, and it’s not easy to find, was that God knew his word would clean up the mess, burning away dross and chipping away at hardened hearts.

Truth can be uncomfortable, but if we learn to embrace it, we find ourselves more open to God’s shaping. Loving the God of fire and hammer is loving the whole of God—finding we desire God’s blueprint and handiwork more than our own. We will not want to stay the same; we will long for change and often be frustrated by lack of progress. What God sees for our future may not match the vision we have for our lives. Part of the miracle of growth and fruitfulness is trusting God to change even our cherished dreams. We have fallen into the hands of an architect—a living God whose words over us are sharper than a two-edged sword, perfectly capable of separating a mess from a magnum opus. —Amy Clemens

As you pray, offer God the architectural license to be both builder and wrecking ball.

About the Author

With a bachelors in journalism from Texas Tech University and a masters from Western Theological Seminary, Amy Clemens enjoys all things writing, particularly about the life of faith. She is blessed with a family that includes husband Fred, five children, and five grandchildren.

Amy has just published her first book, "Walking When You'd Rather Fly: Meditations on Faith After the Fall," which weaves her journey from childhood abuse toward healing and spiritual growth with a practical theology for the big story of God. You can find out more about the book and author at walkingwhenyoudratherfly.com.

This entry is part 13 of 16 in the series Promises of God