Life can hit you. Sometimes out of nowhere other times you are able to prepare for it. But the storms always come.
As Jesus taught, there are wise and foolish builders. The one who hears the words he teaches 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.
There was another example given. Those who hear the words and do not put them into practice is like the 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.
The story is not about IF the rains come. They do. Life can hit you. Life DOES hit you.
Where is your foundation? Will you be able to survive the storms?
Change is an interesting part of life. We all go through it. Some times we long for it, other times we dread it. Sometimes we need it. Other times we just don’t understand it.
When change happens it is very easy to be confused at God. It’s almost always our first response. We get stressed. We get upset. We get angry. Stress is simply our will not being met. And that is a great part of life. Things won’t always go our way.
When life blind sides us it’s easy to blame God. To get frustrated. To ask the simple question of “What exactly are you trying to do here?”
Change can have an effect similar to death. In many ways change is something normal dying. Being forced to let go of what we have become used to. Having to shift our desired outcomes to sometimes do what is ultimately right, even when we just really don’t want to.
I think back on when I had to move from all that I had loved to a new place in South Florida. I think of how it made no sense, how I would think God was just wasting my time , how I would say “nothing good came from us moving there.” And then think of the outcome of me moving there led to me writing to you right now. I wrote about it before in a post titled “You were made for this.” I do not believe in chance.
I like looking for the ripples. Or the ripple effects. The Bigger picture. Trying to find what led to what.
God often drops rocks in our pond. Sometimes they land hard but they always lead to something new. I love how much I fought God about moving to south florida and how he used that experience to set my entire future up. I acted like I knew better than God. And I forgot that I was given a promise.
If you have a piece of paper you better write this verse down. Memorize this. Always, remember it.
In Hebrews it is written
“Never will I leave you;
never will I forsake you.”
We get confused at God, we get angry at God, we think our normal way of things is what is best when God is saying, “it’s not what’s best.” God knows what’s best. Always.
“The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.”
He is setting us up even when it doesn’t really seem like it. Life can hit us and many times we feel like God just isn’t really caring for us. At the time it just doesn’t feel that way. We get worried about what change will mean for us. And we often don’t see God in it.
“Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very thing, why do you worry about the rest?” (Luke 12:22-26)
Let’s sum that up: God’s got your back. He’s got you.
Heard a great usage of this story last night but there simply is so much more to it.
In Acts there is an account of large disagreement between Paul and his friend Barnabas over a man named John Mark. Paul didn’t really trust John Mark but Barnabas (which means the encourager) encouraged Paul to bring him along. Barnabas had this strong feeling about John Mark. But Paul couldn’t deal with it. So Paul and Barnabas parted ways. The disagreement was so “sharp” that the friendship changed and they went on to do separate things. Good things, just separate things. Sometimes the right things to do are different things. And it can be hard and it can mean letting go of something you love. But here is what came out of this story.
Had Barnabas not stood up for John Mark we may have never even heard this story. Let me put this another way. John Mark or more specifically Mark, went on to write the Gospel of Mark. Which is the main source for the gospels of Matthew and Luke. Had Barnabas not stood up for what he felt was right, we might not even have the Gospels.
God used this change to bring about his story and teachings. As we know Paul went on to write the majority of the New Testament. It seemed ugly and confusing at first, but look what it led to!
One of my favorite passages in the Bible is written in Ecclesiastes:
and a season for every activity under the heavens: 2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
9 What do workers gain from their toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live.
We cannot fathom what he has done from beginning and end but we can know that EVERYTHING has been made beautiful in its time. He is good like that. We should love change. It means God is taking you to something better. It may take time to see that. But it will be better.
We were given a promise. And yet in the midst of change, it’s easy to forget.
The disciples before Jesus went to die were told that he would return from the dead after three days. It was a promise from the mouth of Christ. And yet when Jesus died, they grieved, they became afraid, they went into hiding. They didn’t listen to his promise. But Jesus did what he said he was going to do. He’s a man of his word.
We are promised that God works for our good. Why don’t we listen to that?
Perhaps when we experience the initial shock of change we just need reminding.
“We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to his image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified he also glorified.” (Romans 8:28-30)
Jeremiah 29:11 “I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”
Psalm 32:8: “The LORD says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.”
There are fewer more comforting verses in The Bible than these for those who love God.
“There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.”
― C.S. Lewis
Look how they fly,
how they glide in the wind.
Let that be a reminder for you.
Consider the birds.