Lego Lessons in Confidence by Tracy Joy Jones

Lego Lessons in Confidence

Lego Lessons in Confidence by Tracy Joy JonesEver felt like your faith was hanging on by a thread? I know I’ve both felt and spoken those exact words more than once—especially when everything looks dire.

Lego Lessons in Confidence by Tracy Joy JonesI imagine myself struggling to hang on to a fraying thread, clinging with all my might over a Grand Canyon of despair, and knowing that my faith might break at any second. In those moments, faith seems puny and fragile, especially with that mental picture in my mind.

I recently saw this exact moment of anemic fragile faith illustrated in a search through the lego pile with my son.

My fifteen-year-old boy folded his gangly limbs to the floor across from me, an ocean of lego between us. I’d been begging him to help me search for pieces, and he’d finally agreed. My latest project was building my little family’s first lego set (a red and white rescue helicopter pictured above that we bought as soon as we weren’t worried he’d choke on the pieces.) I love that lego set, but as it turns out, our timing was way off.

Noah didn’t exactly swallow the lego, but I think he chewed on every single piece. And it never stayed built. You see, some kids like their legos intact and perfect and won’t play with anything broken. Others are imaginative builders. They don’t want other people’s creations. They want their own, and the only way to build your own creation is to destroy whatever built creation your mom has just finished.

Noah is definitely a “blaze his own trail” lego creator, and I was okay with that because of how much Noah loved lego. (Well, not now. Now I want to take the kragle (aka. Krazy Glue) to it all and tell him to stop breaking stuff. But back then…) He took his little imagination inspired creations everywhere I would let him — which really wasn’t anywhere, only he didn’t know that. I constantly retrieved the pieces from carseats and carpets and the floor and toy cubbies and occasionally bathtubs. I always put the pieces back into the lego tub, but Noah never saw that part. He remembered putting them in his mouth. He remembered leaving them everywhere. He remembered the destruction, but nothing else.

Consequently, when Noah saw that I was building his first helicopter, he immediately became skeptical.

“We’re never going to find those pieces, Mom.”

I just smiled. “Yes, we are.”

“No, seriously, Mom. I used to chew on them all of the time. I left them everywhere. You’ll never find them. They’re definitely gone.”

Again, I just smiled. I knew something Noah didn’t.

But Noah’s skepticism continued every time I started looking for a new piece and asked for his help. “Nope, that one’s definitely gone.”

Eventually it became a joke between us. He was so atypically negative that I could only laugh. I started calling him my “Lego Eyore.”

But as I sat there laughing with my son, I began to think about the difference between Noah and I in our approach to the lego pile. Noah looked at the pile and remembered all the pieces he’d lost, chewed on, or broken. I looked at the pile and remembered all the years of rescuing his lego pieces and saving them from oblivion. The result was that I approached the lego pile with confidence because I knew the truth behind the pile.

And that’s the word that started building in my spirit as I built his little helicopter.


What is the difference between confidence and faith?

Think about it for a moment. Which word seems stronger to you?

I don’t know about you, but my faith often feels as fragile as Noah and the lego pile. He remembers the past and so he loses his stamina and quits quickly. He has no confidence even though he hopes the pieces are still in there somewhere. His attitude is: “Maybe you can redeem this mess and build something, but it’s going to be hard because you don’t really know what I’ve done.” Only a thin, frayed rope of fragile faith keeps him with me at the pile. He only has my word that the piece is in the pile. Everything else is telling him it’s gone.

I sometimes feel the same way in my life with God. Will God really come through for me? Does He know how big my need is? Does he actually have a good plan for my life? How can he redeem this mess in front of me?

Yet when it comes to lego, I approach the pile with complete confidence. It’s not a question of if I’ll find the piece I’m loooking for, it’s when. And I have endurance because I know I’ll eventually find it. Why? Because I put it there. And because of that confidence I climb that strand of faith like a rope. I know the end result will be good.

So what helps us transition from “desperately clinging” to “climbing with confidence”?

Well, let’s consider the lego pile again.

The reason I’m not intimidated by the pile of mess and destruction and broken and chewed-on pieces is that I’ve been behind the scenes the whole time finding them, restoring them, saving them from vacuums and carseats. Because I know my nature, instilled in me by my lego-keeping mother, I have confidence that the pieces are in the tub.

And confidence in God works the same way. It’s knowing that God has gone behind you and before you and is already redeeming the brokeness, rescuing the lost pieces, restoring what you thought would never be whole again. Confidence is sitting at your pile of broken pieces in your life and having rock-solid belief that there is nothing too broken for God and that He is at work in your life for your good. You see, He knows exactly where your pieces are, and knowing God’s nature to restore brings confidence to your faith.

Something amazing happened as Noah built with me and watched me find piece after piece that he swore I’d never find. Faith began to grow inside of him. He began to believe that I really had rescued all of his broken pieces. He started searching differently. He stopped resisting when I asked him to look for something. His confidence changed.

My heart stirred as I watched the change in my son. What if I believed that God was as good towards me as I am to my kids? What if He knows even more than I do where the missing pieces in my life are hiding? What if I had confidence that God was going to redeem the lego pile of my life?

This verse then takes on a deeper meaning:

“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.”
1 John 14:15


In Him.

I only have to ask.

The lesson in confidence has been coming to me in waves over the last few weeks. Nothing missing, nothing broken.

The Psalmist David knew all about the nature of God in midst of the Lego pile. I can tell because of this verse:

“And nothing of theirs was lacking, either small or great, sons or daughters, spoil or anything which they had taken from them; David recovered all.”
(1 Samuel 30:19, NKJV)

How did David recover it all? Well, David must have been a good finder, but we also see in the Psalms that David was confident in His God. Everything else could fall apart, but he continually chose to look to God in the midst of the mess. In fact, consider Psalms 139 in the light of the lego pile.

“You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.

You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.

You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.

Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.

You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.”

Nothing is lost with God because He knows us completely, beginning to end. And that’s where we all have to get to. We have to place our confidence in the God who knows, who heals, who rescues, who restores. We have to believe that God approaches our lives and our situations with confidence. Why? Because He’s been gathering everything back into the pile, going before us and coming behind us, meeting us in the middle of our pile.

I take so much comfort in that thought. So did David. So should you.

A couple of days after this whole lesson came alive in my heart, a friend posted a quote on Facebook which crystalized it even more:

“Faith is deliberate confidence in the character of God whose ways you may not understand at the time.”
–Oswald Chambers

Deliberate confidence in the character of God. Yeah, that’s what it looks like to climb the rope of faith. That’s what it looks like to scratch in the lego pile knowing that nothing is missing or too broken for God.

We choose deliberate confidence in the goodness of God, reinforced by His faithfulness.

One hand in front of the other climbing the rope.

One lego piece at a time.

Lego Lessons in Confidence by Tracy Joy Jones
(My finished rescue helicopter. A couple of substitutions, a few teeth marks, but beautifully, lovingly restored.)

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