A few weeks ago, the college ministry that I attend had the above picture in an announcement slide, and, like clockwork, my brain started moving. For about the entirety of the remaining time that I was there, I wrote down what I was thinking. Whether or not it lined up with what the sermon was actually about, I don’t really know, but all I know is that God was still getting through to me and speaking things to me that I needed to hear. And I think it’s something that many people need to hear. So, here it goes.
Have you ever seen a fresh slab of concrete, cement, or asphalt—poured, smoothed, leveled, newly finished? Well, if you haven’t, let me just tell you it is really, really nice. Some might even call it beautiful. It seems stable. Steady. Impenetrable, even. Safe. Well, safer than what was likely there before. But before long, life begins to take its toll on that once-beautiful concrete, that once-secure surface. Cars drive on it, people walk all over it, the weather’s indecisiveness wears it down, and cracks start to form. Oftentimes, these cracks are filled with, either more concrete, blacktop filler, or some other type of sub-par filler to remove the cracks. But sometimes, if the cracks are left alone, something really incredible might happen. Sometimes plants and flowers grow in those cracks. And its beauty—whether it’s the flower itself, or the image of a flower among a sea of concrete—is undeniable.
In my life, I have made so many plans. Set them in stone. They were concrete in my mind. But then life happened and cracks started to develop in my slab-of-concrete plan and seemingly ruined everything. And I tried—God knows I tried—to fix everything. To fill all the cracks with all kinds of sub-par fillers, which, in my life looked like more “set-in-stone” plans. And to be honest, they worked functionally, to keep me going. But as I was “fixing” those cracks, others were forming before I could finish filling the first ones. Eventually, I allowed God to take complete control of the plans in my life. Now, looking back on my almost-24 years of life, I can see how God has grown so many beautiful things out of the cracks in my life. I can see how he has worked all things for my good and how he has lead me on this journey that looks nothing like I thought it would. I thought it would look like a [safe, secure, beautiful] concrete slab, but God has made it so much more beautiful than that. He has taught me so much about myself, His people, and His Kingdom in ways that I would have stifled had I continued to fill the cracks with fillers.
Don’t be discouraged by the cracks in your life. The cracks in your concrete plans. Things change. That’s life. God has the ability to make beautiful things spring up out of the cracks if we allow Him to. If we try to fill the cracks ourselves with whatever man-made, sub-par filler we choose, life could still go on, but just think for a minute…think of all that we’d be missing. Allow the Lord to penetrate your soul, saturate your life, and see how He creates beauty in the cracks of your concrete plans.