Jenga and God's Work

Tap.

Tap.

Tap.

Tap.

Slide....

That's the process of Jenga. If you aren't familiar, it's a game wherein the players begin by stacking a tower of small wooden bricks on top of each other three-by-three. Each player takes a turn removing a brick from a middle section and placing it on top. The goal is to avoid toppling the tower during your turn. Usually, you lightly tap a brick a dozen or so times to loosen it, then finally, at just the right moment, you slide the whole brick out in one swift motion.

 Stay with me now. You can probably point to lots of moments when God moved you in a powerful way. He speaks, you hear (perhaps weep), your life is changed. Revelation is imparted, you are delivered, etc... I used to be frustrated that those moments had such long gaps in between them. In fact, I'd generally blame myself. "If I was more in tune with God's activity, more aware, more obedient, responded more quickly, these powerful moments would be more common.” My view is a bit more like Jenga now.

See, God is a patient teacher and a patient lover. It is almost certain that before any significant moment with God there were many small, perhaps undetectable moments leading up to it. God knows what needs to be touched in us and furthermore, as a gentlemen and a respecter of wills, He'll take His time to do so. He'll approach carefully from the side if he needs to. In Jenga terms, He'll use a dozen taps before he slides the whole brick out. 

 Souls, like wooden block towers, can be a bit delicate. They have wounds like holes, and flawed thinking which causes wobbling. God knows this, and is quite careful and intentional with how He goes about His work.

The metaphor, of course, falls short in several ways. A real Jenga tower gets feebler as it progresses; whereas with God in charge, the tower gets stronger and stronger as He builds.

So, if you find yourself wondering, “Is God working on me in this area?" then He has probably already begun tapping. Be surrendered to it. Instead of trying to rush to the sliding part, I've learned to relax a little bit. I say, "God, I see that maybe You are up to something. You're free to work as you please." Like usual, our main job is to surrender to His work, because He's the real muscle in the situation. He's the one with the grand plan, the one with the precision of a surgeon, and at times, the one who employs a Jenga-like technique.