“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? 47 Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: 48 he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. 49 But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.”
Storms are going to come. This shouldn’t surprise us, but it usually does. The echo of Eden within our fallen souls presets our heart to believe that normal life shouldn’t include storms. We rage against the storms as a violation of the way things should be. This is what makes the storms of life so difficult to navigate. We don’t want to deal with them, we just want them to go away.
But, in a world marred by sin the storms of life serve an indispensable purpose. They are inescapable revealers. Just like the clarity that dawns after the rain has fallen and the foreboding grey clouds give way to the warmth and piercing glory of the sun, so also the challenges and hardships we face in this life will bring true vision and clarity. They will unearth the location of our hope and reveal its durability. Instead of avoiding the storm we are invited to receive it and to learn from it.
Impact of the storm: There are generally three responses we will see to what the storm reveals:
- For some, the storm will shake them terribly, but they will find their foundation is set on Christ and unable to be broken. In these cases, a person’s faith will be deepened and galvanized and even a thankfulness for the storms will emerge because of how God uses the storms to produce good. Examples of this in Scripture would include Job and Paul. Here’s an example from Paul’s life:
2 Cor. 1:9-10: Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. 10 He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again.
For some, the storm will wreck their lives revealing they set their hopes on a foundation other than Christ. There are generally two responses we will see in these situations:
- Godly sorrow and repentance. In this case, the follower of Christ will realize their sin and run to God. Just as the prodigal son awakened to his desperate state and decided to go home and humbly seek mercy and forgiveness from his father, so also will the person in this case allow the present pain to drive them to repentance and the passionate pursuit of building their life on the one true foundation. Again, a thankfulness for the storm will emerge because it revealed their faulty foundation and set them on the path building their life on Christ.
- Anger, bitterness, pride, hopelessness, and/or self-reliance. In this case, the person will show anger towards God for their troubles and will either attempt by their own strength and wisdom to rebuild what has been lost or the damage from the storm will be so overwhelming that they will give up all hope for rebuilding as they slide into despair. The storm will reveal they do not trust God and the storms very existence will serve as a reason God is untrustworthy. This will only set them up for the next cycle of ruin until they are brought to a place of seeing their need for God and given a willingness to submit to His designs
How are you responding to the present storm? As your marriage is challenged, your parenting skills exhausted, your roommates inescapable, and your work unfinishable what is being revealed in your heart? Do you see the opportunities for deepening your faith or are you simply trying to weather the storm until it goes away? Instead of fixing our eyes on the storm may we together look to the Lord of our storms and ask him for help, perseverance, humility, and grace to stay the course and receive what He is showing us in this season.