Ruin is a gift...

During college, I worked for Dr. Bill Gillham--a psychologist. While he and his wife authored books and spoke around the country, much of his work with individual clients at that time was counseling people whose lives were crumbling. He taught them about grace. 

I remember asking him one day what he thought about a popular clinic in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. His response was, "I think their problem is that they coach people in building back all the things that God is trying to tear down in their lives."

In the movie, Eat Pray Love, there is a scene where Elizabeth Gilbert--sitting among the Roman ruins--says,

"Ruin is a gift. Ruin is the road to transformation."

If you have ever experienced ruin, you likely feel the resonance of that statement. Ruin takes you to your foundations but it also clears away faulty craftsmanship and gives opportunity for something better.

Of course when living that out, few of us feel as serene as Julia Robert's character, Elizabeth, did saying that.  We usually find ourselves more like Steve Martin in The Jerk when he'd lost everything and attempting a dramatic exit doing things like...All I need is this phone.  This phone and this lamp. This phone and this lamp and this chair... On and on, until like Steve, we are in an awkward hobble out the door trying to take bits and pieces of the life we've built with us.

The Apostle Paul writes to the Corinthians: "The fire will test the quality of each man's work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames."

Ruin can feel like "escaping through the flames" and the pain can be intense watching everything we've built ourselves through self-confidence, self-pity, self-reliance and a whole other host of "self" words crumble to the ground until we are left with only the foundations.  It is at this point we have a choice.  We can start again using those same building methods or we can open ourselves to God (often we are so broken at this point we are open to the help) and allow Him to build something better.

Yes, ruin is a gift...
© Random Cathy
Maira Gall