Our weather continues to remind us how vulnerable we are in the storms of life.
On Tuesday, heavy rains unleashed destructive mudslides in areas charred by recent wildfires in Southern California, leaving at least 13 people dead and wiping six homes off their foundations.
Last week, a bomb cyclone covered the entire East Coast in a sheet of snow, dumping more than a foot of snow in New England and bringing damaging winds, and dangerous, icy, flooding.
2017 was the costliest year ever for weather and climate disasters in the United States; costs totaled $306 billion. The previous record-breaking year was 2005 with $215 billion in catastrophes.
According to Newsweek, 2018 could bring an increase in severe worldwide earthquakes. Scientists predict more magnitude 7 earthquakes though they can’t predict where they may strike.
While meteorologists can warn us about severe weather, some storms in life strike without warning such as an illness, job loss, relationship conflict, or death of a loved one.
We all need a solid foundation to help us through such times.
That’s why Jesus told a story about two people who endured a terrible rainstorm.
The wise person in the story was the person who not only heard the words of Jesus but also put them into practice; the foolish person listened to the words of Jesus but chose not to act upon them.
24 “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. 25 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. 26 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. 27 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).
When we choose to ignore His words, Jesus says we are as foolish as a person who builds a house upon the sand knowing storms will come.
To be clear: Just because we love Jesus does not mean we are immune to the storms of life; in the story Jesus told, both the wise and foolish person experienced the storm.
But there’s something about holding onto the words of the Jesus, the One who holds the power to calm life’s storms, that helps (Mark 4:39).
One of the hardest seasons in my life was when Elle, my daughter, was experiencing uncontrollable seizures.
Elle’s doctor explained the seizures were like a “thunderstorm” inside her brain.
During those challenging days, I needed the prayers of others and the life-giving power of God’s word.
Psalm 119:50 says, “Your word has given me life.”
Thankfully, Elle no longer suffers from seizures.
However, since I never know when the next “storm” of life may come, I place a high value on the words of Jesus and try my best to put them into practice.
I need His help.
You do, too.
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging” (Psalm 46:1-3).
Laura Lacey Johnson is a cutting-edge faith and culture writer who focuses on everyday headlines. In addition to speaking, she is a regular contributor to ChristianHeadlines.com and American Family Radio. To read Laura’s latest work on the headlines, visit www.lauralaceyjohnson.com, or to subscribe to her blog, click here.
Photo courtesy: ©Thinkstock/ogennaja
Publication date: January 10, 2018