Thursday, March 29, 2012
When the rain comes down
The summer after we first got married Scott and I went family camping. We used to rent a couple of sites and our family would all set up tents, cook on the fire, and make a big mess. That year there was a flood. Well, maybe not a flood, but let's just say a trench had to be dug. Plastic cups were made into boats. After awhile, what is a little rainwater in your spaghetti? One evening we were sitting at the picnic table, under the plastic tarp and I looked over at our tent. "Umm...Scott?" "Yeah." "Our tent is floating away." He jumped up and ran to catch our place to sleep. The water must have worked up the spikes and softened the ground. The rain had come down so hard that there was literally a lake where our tent had been. The tent was lifted and carried away by the water. Scott did catch our tent. But I think that night we slept in a van. We were wet and cold. And pretty done with camping. The next day, we moved the tent. Scott picked out a place that wasn't in a dip, and he fastened the pegs differently. Our tent held for the remainder of our "vacation."
A dear friend gave me a book to borrow. It is called What a husband needs from his wife by Melanie Chitwood. After one chapter I am impressed. And excited to hear what this excellent source has to say. What brought me to the above story was one of the scriptures Melanie starts out with-
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” - Matt 7: 24-27
Building our house. Of course Jesus tells a story using a visual to get his point across. A lot of times our houses (tents) seem placed well enough. Well, on a sunny, bright wedding day with cute decorations and fun family dances, anything can look pretty good. But what about WHEN the rain comes down. Does your house stand? Or will it fall with a great crash?
Sometimes I wonder if we are doing our girls a disservice by telling them "and they all lived happily everafter.." Prince finds girl, prince beats bad guy, prince marries girl in big white dress...and they live forever and happy in their castle in the sky. This is not real life. Not even close. But somehow when the winds blow and the rain comes down, we are not ready. Rain? Who said anything about rain? I hear clear skies and not a rumble in the sky for the next 50 plus years!
But, alas, this is not to be. Every life has a foundation. Every life. Your foundation could be money, prestige, career. It could be wonderful things like family or service. But when push comes to shove, rain and wind howl, it goes down. Maybe not after the first rain storm. But a life build on a shifting foundation can only stand so long.
This is where my Scripture comes in. The only foundation that will hold and hold well is one built on the Rock. One that will not shift, run, or crack. But what dose this look like? How do I do that? Give me a step by step plan and I will follow. Isn't that my way? Good idea God. Now, step aside and let me handle this. And I screw it up. Every...single...time. Perhaps that is why He says apart from me you can do no good thing.
"Remember transformation is God's work not yours." - In order to see God, we have to let go. More specifically, I have to let go. Surrendering is not in our human nature. To give control to another is unnatural. We are wired to fight, to survive, and to go it alone is need be. And God says "Delight yourself in me with your whole heart and I will give you the desires of your heart."
So I am building a foundation. No. Rather I am going to abide (to remain stable or fixed in a state) in Christ and let Him build my foundation.