December 12, 2007


Aaron and I have a new favorite phrase at our house: "This has been a weird year."

We can go back to January 2007 and begin our list of trials. But particularly in the last three months, whether it be from our friends, family or ourselves, it seems we've been hit with sad, bad, troubling, stressful or unhappy news almost weekly. Serious illnesses, divorce, friends moving away, and job loss top the list. Our world has been rearranged, turned upside down and knocked around quite a bit lately.

I have to say, however, that through it all, even on the darkest days when nothing made sense, when our souls were weary and we were sapped of every last inkling of physical and mental energy, the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, has guarded our hearts and minds (Philippians 4:7).

We are ever thankful for our families and friends, and for the abundant blessings God has given us. We are ever aware of the hunger and disease, the poverty and wars raging around the world; and the freedoms we enjoy in this country. We are mindful of the prayers we pray and the provisions God supplies every day.

I write all this to say: I know for a fact Aaron and I would not be where we are individually or as a couple if not for these struggles and blessings; and we would not have made it through the last year, individually or as a couple, if we were not trying every day to build our house (individually and as a couple) on the Rock; trying every day to live an obedient and faithful life.

The below is from my daily devotional today. A nice reminder, at the perfect time for Aaron and me, because our Father always knows what our hearts need, that following where God leads, doing our best to walk the walk, and putting all our faith and trust in Him is what gets us through this life and to eternal happiness in Heaven.

Faith Weathers Every Storm
by Mark Kelly

"Anyone who listens to my teaching and obeys me is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won't collapse, because it is built on rock. But anyone who hears my teaching and ignores it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will fall with a mighty crash." (Matthew 7:24-27 NLT)

A hurricane rages off the ocean onto land. Winds in excess of 150 mph and a powerful storm surge blast the village that sits on the beach, splintering bamboo huts and throwing the pieces in every direction. But in the midst of the destruction, one house weathers the storm intact. The difference? This house is solidly built with a foundation set down into the bedrock. The roof is gone, but not even a Category 5 storm is going to shake the foundation.

All of us know firsthand about the storms in life. Relationship problems. Financial setbacks. Betrayals of trust. Health crises. The awful consequences of bad choices. Everywhere we turn, we see lives and families destroyed by a storm. God’s desire, however, is that our lives and relationships survive the storms because of a strength that fills us from within. That power is released when we step out in faith and let Jesus live his strong life in us. The switch that turns on the power is obedience.

The wise soul is someone who not only listens to what Jesus teaches but also builds her life on the foundation of obedience, allowing Jesus' powerful message to make a real difference. The foolish soul doesn't apply Jesus' wisdom to the way he lives. The difference is revealed when the storms of life rage. The person who lives by God's Word can withstand any storm.

PRAYER: Lord, it seems like the wind never lets up. Some days it blows so hard I don't think I can stand it anymore. Please fill me with the strength of your Spirit. Help me find the peaceful spot in the eye of the storm – the confidence that comes from trusting you and walking in your ways.

This is a song we sang as kids in Bible Class. Funny how when you're eight, you don't realize the wisdom and truth of the fun songs with hand movements and sound effects. And that those same simple songs can be your lifeblood when you're grown. And Thank You, Mom and Dad, for laying our solid foundation.

The Wise Man and the Foolish Man

The wise man built his house upon a rock.
And the rains came tumbling down.

The rains came down and the floods came up
And the house on the rock stood firm.

But the foolish man built his house upon the sand.
And the rains came tumbling down.

The rains came down and the floods came up
And the house on the sand went ploof.

So be wise and build your house upon the rock;
On the rock of the Lord Jesus Christ.

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