|Katrina, Courtesy of NASA|
Have you ever seen those Christians who, like Nancy Kerrigan, ask "Why me?" When disaster strikes? Something inside me wants to ask, "Who would you rather this had happened to?"
I understand the questioning. There have been times in my life that it seemed I was hit simultaneously on all fronts with problems, disasters and heartache. And I will also be honest and admit that there have been times when I have wondered why. Not that I believed God brought these problems into my life, I know He's a good God and that anything evil doesn't come from Him. But I would wonder why He allowed them. I would give Him my best Nancy Kerrigan prayer through my tears and ask "Why me?" as if I thought someone else was more deserving of sorrow and pain and struggle than I was.
I think Jesus would understand that, however. I remember him being in the Garden of Gethsemane and, although he didn't ask the Father "Why me?" he did ask if there was anyway other way he could provide salvation for us than the path he was about to walk. He even sweat blood, he was in such agony.
So, why do we think we will be immune to trouble? Yes, I believe we have a covenant of protection, but I don't think that means we can expect our lives to be rose gardens. In fact, Jesus told us otherwise. He said that in the world we would have tribulation. He said that we would even be persecuted for his name's sake.
He also told us that God would provide a way out of our difficulties, and that nothing would be too much for us to bear. I think the way out is taught beautifully in the parable of the two houses, one built on a firm foundation, the other one built on sand.
"Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it."~Matthew 7:24-27
- The storms hit all of us. I don't care how "good" a Christian you are, if you are in the path of Isaac, you are going to experience a storm. Both the wise and the foolish man experienced the rain, the floods and the wind.
- If your house is built on a firm foundation, it will withstand the storm.
This is the promise we have been given. If we are on a firm foundation, we will withstand the storm. We aren't told the storm won't come. We aren't told it will go around us. We are told we will withstand it.
Now, before you point out to me the many miracles that have occurred in which a major storm did actually go around someone miraculously, let me say that yes, I do believe in miracles. But, the Bible doesn't tell me that I'm supposed to live by miracles, it tells me I'm supposed to live by faith.
How do we build a firm foundation? By listening to the Word, reading the Word, speaking the Word, and spending time in God's presence. (Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God~Romans 10:17)
The storms of life are going to come to us all. It isn't God's responsibility to step in and miraculously make the storms disappear. It is our responsibility to make sure that we are ready to withstand them. We know the storms of life are coming. Jesus has forecast them. Are you preparing yourself so that, like the wise man, you will withstand the storms and not fall?
It was a short 7 years ago that Katrina struck the Gulf Coast. My prayers go out to those affected by this storm.