Are You Prepared for the Inevitable?

By the time you read this we will have endured another winter storm in northeast Georgia. Weather forecasters predicted this recent storm a week in advance. This gave everyone time to prepare. As usual, people packed the local grocery stores buying food and water. People filled up their cars gas tanks. Firewood became scarce. At our house we had our gas fireplace serviced because it didn’t light during the previous storm in which we lost electrical power for two days. This time we wanted to make sure we had a heat source if the electricity went out. It is good to prepare ahead for the consequences of storms. However, many people do not prepare. People ignore the storm warnings and are unprepared to deal with an electrical outage, or food shortage or water shortage or having an alternative source of heat. If the consequences of the storm last only one or two days, most people experience little life disruption. But if the storm-effects last three days or longer, life can become more difficult.

In Matthew’s gospel, Jesus analogizes a storm to a person’s life. Jesus speaks of a wise man who built his house on a rock and a foolish man who built is house on the sand. A storm hits each of their houses. As a result, the wise man’s house withstood the storm, whereas the foolish man’s house collapsed from the storm. Jesus said of the foolish man’s house “it fell with a great crash.” The point of the story is that what a person chooses to build the foundation of their life on determines how they will withstand the storms of life. Jesus is clear that storms will come. It is not if, but when. The death happens, the diagnosis comes, the job lost, the money runs out, the relationship fails, the injury happens, the sickness lingers, the pain become chronic, and so forth. It is when the storm hits, you know what you have built your life on, not before.

Jesus is clear that the only way to ensure you can withstand the storm is to “hear these words of mine and put them into practice.” To hear means more than sound waves passing through our ears. To hear means to comprehend and understand. Put into practice means to apply to your life. Jesus is saying, “Understand my teachings so you can apply them to your life. By so doing, you will be prepared to withstand the storms that hit your life. You will build your life on Me. I am the foundation that is rock solid and will not fail you.”

The question Jesus raises is this: If you do not choose to trust in Christ's faithfulness as the starting point of your life, then what do you propose to build your life upon? What do you propose to put in the place of Jesus Christ as the rock for your life? Your work? Your family? Your church? If it isn't going to be Jesus Christ, what or who is it going to be? Just as we are confident weather storms will disrupt our lives in northeast Georgia, we are just as confident undesired circumstances will disrupt our personal lives. When the life-storms hit, you will know what you have built your life on. Build your life on the unfailing Word of God to make it safely through. That’s what Jesus says. That’s who I trust.

How about you?