Being born and raised in Florida, I know a thing or two about building sand castles. It’s nice to have a proper bucket and shovel but you can use almost anything to build a sand castle. And after you being to dig the all important moat, other people typically show up to help. Some bring tools, others bring instructions and a few passerbys may offer some praise or encouragement. After a while, a magnificent hodge podge of gullies and mountains form so if you squint your eyes, they look like a sand castle.
But then comes the inevitable wave and a portion of the castle dissolves into the beach. Then comes the unspoken question: do you rebuild?
Rebuilding is a funny thing. Even though all sorts of people contributed to building the sandcastle, some people believe that they should rebuild alone. Think about the people you know whose life has been hit by a wave: the friend with the unemployment check, the mom with the troubled child and the Aunt with the unexpected diagnosis. It’s easy to see when your life has been hit by a wave. It’s not as easy to ask for help to rebuild.
This idea that when our life becomes damaged we need to rebuild it alone is really silly when you think about it. Each step of your life from childhood to adulthood and beyond was built by the impact and support of others. Doesn’t it make sense that to rebuild a life would require the help of others? You were not meant to rebuild your life alone.
On the night He was betrayed, Jesus had dinner with His disciples and He prayed for them. But what amazes me is that He prayed for me and you too! Seriously, in John 17:20, after praying for the disciples, Jesus says “I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message…” That’s you and me. We are people that believe in Christ by hearing the message that was shared by His disciples.
So what do you think Jesus prayed for you and me? He could have prayed for anything. He could have prayed for us to have peace of mind or godly wisdom but He didn’t. Jesus prayed for us to have unity. In verse 21, Jesus goes on to pray for us “ to be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you.”
Imagine all believers being so unified that we have one heart and one mind, just like Jesus and His Father. When one believer hurts, we all hurt. When one of us rejoices, we all rejoice. This level of unity would automatically move us to ask others to help us repair our damaged lives. But to build this unity we need to reach out, even when we don’t want anyone else’s help.
When Jesus prayed for us to have unity, He knew there would be waves. Jesus never intended you to rebuild your life alone. Just as Jesus sent people for years to help you build your life, He is sending people now to help you rebuild. Hand them a bucket and a shovel. You are not alone.