It has truly been a hard winter. I look out off my back deck and the snow is about as high as our deck. The thrill of snow and days off has worn thin. If you don’t believe me, just take a trip to the supermarket.
It was just a normal day. No storms predicted. No snow was falling. It wasn’t even that cold out. People were angry on the road. Grumpier in the store. I could not wait to get home and quickly announced, “I may be doing PeaPod until the summer.”
We laughed about it and then this observation was made … “Yeah, the winter has been hard. But it’s been hard on everybody.”
We noted that while the majority of people were exhibiting irritability, there were still those who were not. And so we wondered …
- Could it be that the stormy winter gave people permission to be irritable in public?
- Could it be that they were grumpy all along but kept it under wraps?
- Could it be this was the new “them”?
I’ve been thinking about this for days now. And yes, I do realize I have probably been cooped up in the house way too long. But then, the “crazies” are out there and I’m holding out for spring, remember?
It was then a familiar passage of Scripture came to me, along with a children’s song I learned in Sunday School.
It’s the story of the two builders – one builds his house on the sand and one on the rock. A storm hits and we know the outcome. The one on the rock stands firm. The one on the sand “fell with a great crash” (check it out for yourself. The story is in Matthew 7:24-27).
Here’s the thing I missed all these years. Or maybe it was because the rock and sand foundations were always emphasized. But this week as I read, I realized the same storm hit them both.
Scripture describes the storm exactly the same way for each of these builders – “The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against the house” (found in verse 25 and verse 27). It wasn’t that one experienced a drizzle and one a hurricane.
It was exactly the same storm.
No matter what we experience in life, we will not be the first to have experienced it and we will not be the last. There is nothing new under the sun. I fully get that the details of our situations can vary yet there are more similarities than differences.
I sat wondering, what is the difference? Why can some go through difficulty and remain pleasant while others become as unreasonable as all get out?
And there, before me lie the answer. It was in red – the very words of Jesus Himself –
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice……” (verse 24)
It is in the practicing of His Word, intentionally living out each day according to the way He has set out, that we are able to stand the storms of life with joy. It is not solely in the hearing. One must apply His Word, actively living it out, day in and day out.
In good times and in bad. In joy and in sorrow. In abundance and in want. In sure times and in the uncertain.
Storms will come.
Take that one to the bank.
But how we each come through is entirely up to us.
Put His words into practice.