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Someone once said, “You are either in a storm, coming out of a storm, or headed into a storm.” The longer I live, the more I find that to be true.
Life has a way of presenting us with various crises. I am pretty confident that I am not alone in this sentiment.
Even before the onset of this continuing worldwide pandemic, many people have faced many challenging moments in life. Emotional storms. Financial storms. Spiritual storms. Storms of sickness and disease. Storms in life, and with family and in community.
Perhaps that is your position, even as you read these words. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus, using a parable – a simple story used to illustrate a spiritual lesson – talks about dealing with life’s storms.
He describes two different people: one man who builds a house on the rock, a solid foundation. The rain falls, rivers rise, and winds blow on the house. Yet, the house did not collapse because its foundation was on the rock (Matthew 7:25).
Then, the second person is a man who foolishly builds his house on the sand. You can probably guess what happened to him: he encounters the storm, as well – the rain, the rivers rising and the wind blowing. However, because of the lack of a solid foundation, this man’s house collapses. And Jesus describes this collapse as great (Matthew 7:26-27).
These two scenarios Jesus shares describe two different types of people. For the man who builds his house on the rock, Jesus likens him to one who hears and acts on the words of Jesus. However, those who hear the words of Jesus and choose not to act on them are like the foolish man, with everything he has built and worked for falling.
However, there is another observation to note in the parable beyond the two results. Each person, regardless of how they prepared, encountered storms.
With these thoughts in mind, hear the lesson of Jesus: We may not live a life without storms, but we can live a life that withstands storms. That is significant in the midst of any and every storm we may face in our own lives. If you build your life on the Rock – Jesus – you will be able to withstand the storm.
This passage, and this lesson, have great significance to me personally. It is a scripture that I heard my grandfather preach when I was a little boy. This passage, as well as my grandfather’s words, hold even greater significance to me as an adult in my personal storms of life.
This passage is also connected to a song my grandmother stated was one of my grandfather’s favorites, a song she sang at his funeral almost a year ago.
The hymn “In Times Like These” was written by Ruth Caye Jones, a minister’s wife and father of five. During World War II, another difficult season in our history, she jotted down the words to the hymn we sing today: “In times like these you need a Savior / In times like these you need an anchor / Be very sure, be very sure / Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!”
The refrain shares, “This Rock is Jesus, Yes He’s the One / This Rock is Jesus, the only One / Be very sure, be very sure / Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock.”
No matter what storm you may be facing, be sure to have your anchor, your foundation for life, in Jesus Christ. If you are not sure, you can be sure. Jesus freely gives the gift of salvation to those who believe by faith. You can be sure and have the foundation to withstand the storms of life.
Christopher M. Todd is a Coosa County resident and the pastor of The New Home Missionary Baptist Church near Rockford.