The Curse

As men, we tend to get caught up in the things of this World, pursuing the “American Dream” or “a life of ease.”  We do everything we possibly can to arrange life so that we don’t need anyone else, including God.  I recently discovered something in scripture that I have read over for many years without noticing.

Take a look at Genesis 3:17-19  

“Cursed is the ground for your sakeIn toil you shall eat of it All the days of your life.

18 Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you,
And you shall eat the herb of the field.
19 In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread
Till you returnto the ground,
For out of it you were taken;
For dust you are,
And to dust you shall return.”

God said “for your sake” and “for you” as if it was something good for us…huh?  If your not a farmer, maybe you can’t relate, but don’t fixate on the term “thorns and thistles,” think anything that frustrates you…anything that prevents you from “getting on top of life.”  You see, God added hardship to our lives because we need it!  It is meant to drive us back to Him, to rely on him for our wisdom and strength.  Yet we spend our entire lives trying to circumnavigate process, “the toil,” and “the sweat of our face.”

This explains a lot for me and actually helps me when I feel frustrated.  Knowing that life isn’t meant to be easy “for our sake.”  It often feels like a game of “wack-a-mole,” just as soon as you take care of one issue, another pops up.  This past weekend our septic tank filled up and sewage overflowed into our basement, what a mess!  I was up late Friday night cleaning the basement, not what I had in mind for my Friday evening.  Sunday I went to my restaurant to meet the general contractor to fix a few items on the punch-list before our one year warranty is up.  While there, I discovered all kinds of issues that frustrated me with my team.  Things are not being cleaned and organized the way I want.  At first, I found myself getting really mad, but then I realized that is not going to help the situation.  I took lots of photos of things before I fixed them and plan to talk with my leaders on Wednesday at our meeting.  However, once I remembered “if it’s not this, it will be something else,” I decided to pray and ask God for wisdom and strength on how to handle all of the existing issues…and that is the point of “the curse”…to drive me back to God.  Thank you for doing this for my sake Father.

The walls we build

I was talking with a friend recently about how he has built walls of protection around himself.  These walls are so tall and so thick that nobody ever gets to see the “true person.”  He has literally built a fortress with many defensive measures.  It is the defensive measures that often destroy the relationships that he is trying to establish with women and male friends.

Unfortunately, most of us have these walls and are unaware of how they prevent us from living a full life.  We spend our entire lives reinforcing them and doing everything we can to keep others from getting in.  We don’t want to get hurt, so we surround ourselves with protection.

Many of us started building walls at a very early age.  The foundation of these walls starts with a question.  Every young boy has a core question; “do I have what it takes?” and every little girl asks “am I beautiful or am I worth pursuing?” These questions are written on our hearts and we first take them to our earthly father.  If the father is absent or doesn’t answer these questions with love, a wound starts to form.  This lays the foundation for the wall.  The question is then taken other places; for young boys, it’s taken to sports, video games and girls; for young girls, it’s taken to boys and pursuits of vanity.  As these other things continue to fall short of answering the question, as they always will, the walls get reinforced until they are completely impenetrable.

It’s not until we realize that our core question must be taken to our heavenly Father do we start to get healing.  Father will answer these questions with a loving “yes,” and the process of deconstruction begins.  We come to the realization that we were never meant to have walls, but to allow Him to protect us.  Ultimately we didn’t trust Him, so we built our own protection.  I have spent the last 10+ years allowing Father to tear down my walls and offer His protection in the breach.  I am learning to trust in His strength and not my own.