Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine 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. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a 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. Matthew 7:24-27
I live in West Central Florida, and from June 1 to November 30, we have to contend with hurricane season. As I write this, we’re about 6 weeks into the season. Things have been quiet so far, but that could change at any moment. Having been born and raised in New Orleans and now living in Florida, hurricane season is a part of life. What can this weather phenomena teach Christians? I’m glad you asked!
We know it’s possible that a storm will come
There are some years when the season is a quiet one, while other years, it’s crazy! But we know, based on scientific evidence, that a storm will come! In 2004, we dealt with 4 hurricanes back to back here in Florida that took just about the same path (right up the middle of the state). Just as soon as we breathed a sigh of relief, there was another one on the way that we had to brace ourselves for. It’s a proven fact that, because of the warmth of the water and other factors, these storms WILL form in the Gulf of Mexico and travel around the states surrounding the gulf, or to the states bordering the east coast of the United States.
Just like we know hurricanes will come, we Christians also know that the storms of life will come. James 1:2 tells us to “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds.” (NIV, emphasis added) James doesn’t say “if” trials come, but “when” they come. Peter says in 1 Peter 4:12: “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you” (KJV). Just like we shouldn’t think it strange that a tropical storm or hurricane will form in the Gulf from June to November, we as Christians should not be surprised that storms and trials come in our lives. So, if we know storms and trials are coming…
We need to be prepared for when a storm comes
During hurricane season, there are several ways to find out how to prepare for a storm. The local city and county governments publish brochures and update their emergency preparedness websites, local TV stations air news specials, and local newspapers have entire sections dedicated to hurricane preparedness. When the storm hits, we know what to do (or we should know what to do), and there should be no excuse for lack of preparedness. Unlike sections of the country that deal with tornados, when facing hurricanes, we have advanced warning. We have the resources at our disposal to get ready, so we can prepare ourselves as best we can.
Christians also have advanced warning of impending storms (we already know that they will eventually come). And we’ve been given instructions on how to get ready. What are those instructions? According to Jesus, we are to hear his words and put them into practice. As we read and hear the Word of God, we become more assured of the promises He’s made to us. Our faith is growing as we study and meditate on his word, and we are becoming like “a wise man who built his house on the rock.” (Matt 7:24, NIV) Although we don’t know the exact circumstances, we are shoring ourselves up for what will come.
We have an assurance that, despite the storm, all will be well
When a tropical storm or hurricane comes, there will be some after effects or consequences. There could be flooding, downed power lines, interrupted phone service, and damage to our homes. But if we’ve prepared properly, we’ve secured a generator, we’ve evacuated to a safer location, or we’ve stocked non-perishable food and water to have on hand until the comforts of home are restored. We have what we need to face the consequences of the storm, and we know that eventually, things will get back to normal.
I’m sure you can see the parallel for the Christian! J Look what Peter says in 2 Peter 2:9a: “Now if [all these things are true, then be sure] the Lord knows how to rescue the godly out of temptations and trials.” (AMP) Praise God, He know how to rescue us! Also, look at Jesus’ words to us: “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.” (Matt 7:25, NIV) Despite the rain, wind, and streams, the house that was built on the rock remained, while the house that was built on sand fell. The house on the rock remained because it was built on a solid foundation. Rock is far more stable than sand, right?
Don’t be caught unawares, we know that a storm will come. It’s our responsibility to prepare for impending storms when things are going well, not when the storm is barreling down on us. And as we prepare for impending tests and trials, and build our spiritual house on the solid foundation of Jesus Christ, we are assured that we will be able to withstand the storms of life, because God has promised that we wouldd.
A storm is coming…are you ready?