God’s Scaffolding

Across most urban vistas, you will spot at least one building under construction or repair with scaffolding surrounding it. Although a little unsightly, the scaffolding is a positive sign of the investment in the city, and brings with it a sense of anticipation as to when the project might be completed, and the glory of the building that will finally be revealed. Scaffolding is used by the construction industry to ensure safe access of personnel and materials whilst work continues on a building.

One of my favourite verses from the Book of Psalms is found in Psalm 34:7, “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them”. This verse speaks to me of a scaffold completely enveloping the Christian whilst the necessary development works are taking place. The Holy Spirit “encamps” around us to complete the task of preparing us for glory, because we are all a work-in-progress, needing continual renovation and development.

Does that mean we are of no use until this development work is complete? NO! Our life experiences, relationships, problems, joys, sadnesses, excitement and pain are like the bricks of a building, held together with the mortar of the word of God that are making us stronger each day. Paul puts it like this:

Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:16 – 18)

All scaffolding (the things which are seen) is temporary. So too, we know that all that we face is temporary whilst our Great Craftsman God renews and changes us day by day (to become the things which are not seen).

As some important detail or aspect of a building is completed, scaffolding is frequently taken away to reveal the work that the Craftsman has completed. So too for us, as we grow in the Holy Spirit, our lives change and develop, and the fruit of His handiwork becomes more and more evident. The Bible calls this the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22, 23).

Let us be encouraged that the Lord delights to encamp the spiritual scaffolding of His presence around us, and that He never stops working this side of Heaven to deliver, strengthen and beautify our lives so that we will be a blessing and encouragement to others.