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So much of life is waiting. . .

As a Christian, I am waiting for a lot--for God to do His refining work in me, for Jesus to return, for me to GET how much God loves me and for me to see what He is doing . . .

What to do in the meantime? I have learned much about what the Lord is trying to teach me, tell me and show me through the discipline of daily time spent reading the Bible. So often we make this time harder than it has to be.

This blog was born out of wanting to share what God is showing me and wanting to be an example that daily time with God is not a deep or mysterious thing (well, every once in a while it can be), but simply a time to read scripture and note what jumps out at you that day. We don't have to be scholars or super-holy or ministry leaders to do this. Some days I hit the jackpot and others I come up empty--but only by persevering do I give God the space in which to speak and myself the stillness in which to hear and obey.

As of June of 2017, I've now decided to include parts of our adoption journey, which is, so far, yet another chapter of waiting.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Figuring out my Foundation

Sometimes I think most of my Christian life consists of suddenly realizing the import of facts or stories that I have read numerous times. Today I was reading Jesus' words in Luke 6:46-49:
Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.
The phrase that I stopped on today was "dug deep." All spring, a house has been under construction near our backyard. I watched from my bedroom window as the foundation was dug out using bulldozers and other heavy equipment. A well-built foundation holds the weight of the house and ensures that the walls are straight and everything holds together.

I have heard the story of the two houses since I was a child in Sunday school (read all the way through and you can share in the video remembrance). I've known that foundation = rock = Jesus is the formula for withstanding the trials and storms of life. I had never thought about the difficulty of digging deep to build a foundation. It's hard to dig into soil and make a big hole and empty it out and make it suitable for a concrete or rock foundation.

My favorite and most frustrating question in life is not "why", but "how". How do I build a solid foundation in my life and faith? Truth is to be the foundation of all I do, and John 14:1 says that Jesus IS the truth. So, part of foundation-building involves knowing and understanding the truth of the Bible for myself, and cultivating a relationship with Jesus in which I come to know Him better and better. Some truths are indisputable if I am to build a foundation based on Jesus: Jesus' divinity. His atoning death on the cross. The Trinity. The omnipotence of God. Some truths are less clear and open to interpretation: worship styles, the position of women in the church, the definition of modesty. My job as a believer is to go to the Lord and to the Bible and let God use Himself, His words, and the stories of wise people to build my firm foundation. I also need help to get rid of things in my foundation that will make it weak. As I realize that something I thought was true isn't, I need to dig it out and get rid of it.

Looking back at the passage, the "how" is clearly answered in the second sentence. If I am to build my foundation on a rock, I need to hear the words of Jesus and DO them. The hearing is easy. The doing is much harder. It's not enough to know that I should love my neighbor. I must, by my actions, show love to actual people. Meaning that my wishes, my plans, and my schedule are not sacrosanct. If the Bible says that my speech is to be gracious and without complaining, then I no longer have license for snark and criticism.

I am thankful that, unlike a building's foundation, which is build once and hopefully never needs repair again, my foundation is becoming (I hope) ever more solid as I learn more and more of the truth of Christ and obey more and more of His teachings.

As promised, the song (with the caveat that the second half of it is not exactly good theology, so consider yourself warned):