The summer after we moved into our first home, we built a fence to enclose our yard. The majority of our fence faced west and our windy city was no stranger to 100km/hr winds which often blew furiously from that direction.
To combat this frequent force, we knew we'd have to build something solid. Nine foot steel posts were secured with concrete into three-foot deep holes. The fence boards were screwed onto three beams that ran horizontally across the top, middle and bottom of the posts and were secured by 3 more horizontal beams on top. It was solid. It probably could've withstood my car ramming into it but I didn't test my hypothesis.
Shortly after we had finished most of the fence, we had one of those terribly windy days. It howled so loudly I feared if I stepped outside it might have carried me to Saskatchewan.
It came with little warning. The day before it was like summer and then... BAM. The biting wind made summer seem like a distant memory.
I was thankful that the majority of the fence was done. I tried to imagine how crazy it would have been to be screwing in fence boards on a day like that. I can imagine what our neighbor would have said if (when she approached us about starting our fence in the summer) we had said, "Actually, we're waiting until the wind is blowing 100km/hr. We won't really need the shelter until then." She probably would've put her house up for sale. No one wants to live next door to crazies.
It would be foolish to wait for a storm to start building.
Someone once told me, “I just don’t need God. I know it sounds bad but something really bad would probably have to happen before I would turn to God.”
Have you ever heard this? Even when we don't forthrightly declare this statement, sometimes our actions say otherwise. They say desperate times call for desperate measures. I say desperate times call for greater dependency.
Thankfully, Matthew 7:24-25 tells us how to be ready for life's storms: "Therefore, everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them will be like a sensible man who built his house on the rock. The rain fell, the rivers rose, and the winds blew and pounded that house. Yet it didn’t collapse, because its foundation was on the rock."
My dad's faith encouraged many, especially when He battled ALS. His how was no secret to me. Long before this particular storm came, he had been buildling a house on the Rock. In 1986, he turned from his own ways and trusted his life to Jesus Christ for forgiveness of his sins and eternal life. Daily bricks built a life on the Rock. A spiritual house is built from the spiritual bread of daily relationship with Jesus. He found truth from the Bible to be solid as he laid put it into practice, not perfectly, but faithfully.
None of us knew the storm was coming but the One he placed faith readied him for it, sustained him through it, and welcomed him home after it.
In this life, storms of varying severity and span are almost a guarantee. How prepared are you? I wanted to be prepared and I know you do too. What truth is God asking you to put into practice today? To place faith in Him for the first time? Or to take the next step somewhere along the journey?
"But everyone who hears these words of Mine and doesn’t act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, the rivers rose, the winds blew and pounded that house, and it collapsed. And its collapse was great!” (Matthew 7:26-27)
The fence didn’t go up in a day. Rock solid faith is not built in a day. It is built over many days. But it must start with one. Then another and another.