one of my favorite stories in the Bible is the story of the wise and foolish builders:
"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 the house, and it fell with a great crash."
this message came directly after Christ's Sermon on the Mount. He had just given the most detailed instructions of how to live a godly life (yet I still ask him everyday to show me how ton live. maybe if I actually applied everything I read on the pages of what I consider my "instruction manual"). in a jist these verses are telling me that as I go about my life I am to take everything I've just read and build an amazing life ton glorify God. one thing I find most important in this passage is that the storms hit both the foolish and the wise man. it doesn't say "if" but "when". no one excluded from the sorrows and suffering that accompany a life in a fallen world.
earlier today I witnessed several thunderstorms and even got caught in several down pours. no idea why the rain had to come on the one day I had dozens of errands to run. but under no command of my own but under the command of the Almight they came. when I was watching the storms from inside they were beautiful and at times breathtaking. they were powerful, bending over trees and the ground shook when the thunder clapped. it was awesome. I love thunderstorms. but the story was different when I was the one having to run through it, get wet by it, or have to carry my groceries in it. the storm became wet, cold, inconvenient, and slowed down everything I was trying to get done. while driving home the Holy Spirit just opened my eyes wide. I was mesmerized by the thunderstorm and how it compared to the own storms in my life.
when a thunderstorm hits it leaves behind a mark. the stronger the storm the greater effect it can have. it can bring growth, new life, destruction, devastation, and the water of life to the driest of corners. the storms in my life have done the same. a few storms have stripped me to my core leaving me in a state of devastation. but that opened doors to be rebuilt. through some storms i've grown. no storm has ever been wasted. God doesn't waste a single experience. the same power I witness in a thunderstorm is the same power God puts in a storm he passes through in my life. He is the shelter from the storm that brings comfort and rest. my prayer is that as those storms arise I will be like the wise man and build my house on The Rock!
here is a paraphrase I read once of Matthew 7:24-25
"Take this teaching I have just given you and make it a part of your life. Start slow if you must. But build a life on me. I am strong. I am the cornerstone. I will not fail you through rain or flood or wind. I am the only way to enter into the happiness of the Master. I am the only foundation that will not give way. Start with me. Rely on me. Finish with me and enter into the celebration of my glory. Everything you build on me will stand."