A Piece of the Rock

Photo by Oleg Magni from Pexels

“Anyone who listens to my teaching and obeys me is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock.” – Jesus, as quoted in Matthew 7:24 NLT

When my husband woke up one Sunday morning a few years ago with his left arm numb, our life together suddenly took a different perspective. Especially when the numbness settled in his fingers on both hands and in his right foot. Uncertainty crept into our schedules just as sure as the doctors’ appointments and a plethora of medical tests.

Possible causes swirled through my mind. I spent hours online, searching WebMD and other sites, seeking understanding, trying to prepare myself for the worst.

Would he be able to continue to drive truck? Should we start thinking about another line of work? But then, what can you do when you lose the use of your fingers?

Just three months earlier I’d quit my full-time job, with its regular, although meager, paycheck. My freelance work brought in enough to help pay the bills, but that depended on how much work I contracted and when I received payment. So far, we’d been able to pay the bills on time.

I hadn’t been worried about the finances because I believed the One who called me into full-time writing was faithful, and I trusted He’d provide for all our needs (1 Thessalonians 5:24, Philippians 4:19). I also knew if Dean couldn’t work anymore, God would send enough work my way that I’d be able to support us both.

I was more concerned about losing my life’s companion. With the kids grown up and gone, we’d gotten closer. I loved the stage of life we were in. Now the dreams of growing old together were suddenly threatened. But I had no real fear, no doubt, no anxiety. I slept well.

I was feeling pretty proud of my spiritual maturity when God dropped a bombshell: “You thought it was a leap of faith when you quit your job and trusted Me to provide. But would you still trust Me if your husband’s paycheck were gone?”

My faith hadn’t really been put to the test when I quit my job. I still had Dean, he still had his job, and the paychecks were still coming in. As long as I had those, faith talk was easy. Take all that away, and would I be able to walk my talk?

What can we place our security in these days? Certainly not in jobs. In insurance policies? They don’t prevent misfortune; they only promise to provide for our needs in the event something happens. A good credit rating? Identity theft can shoot that overnight. A healthy bank account, investments? A sudden, catastrophic accident or illness, or an extended stay in a skilled care facility can eat those up quickly. Real estate? A house? A fire can destroy in a few minutes what we’ve spent a lifetime building.

Where, then, can we find true, rock-solid security? The Bible tells us, over and over: In God and in God alone. “The LORD is my rock,” (Psalms 18:2, 19:4, 92:15; Isaiah 26:4; Deuteronomy 32:4).

I have a piece of the Rock. Do you?

Thank you, Lord, that You are the Rock upon which I build my life. Thank You that I’m no longer building on sand. Amen.

Read and reflect on Matthew 7:24–27.

From God, Me, & a Cup of Tea, Vol. 3 © 2019 Michele Huey. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

From Amazed to Afraid

Quinqua-Behold-we-go-up-to-Jerusalem-Liz-L.-Swindle.png (800×400)
Without Purse or Script” by Liz L. Swindle

Read and reflect on Mark 10:32-34.

Now they were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was going before them; and they were amazed. And as they followed, they were afraid. Mark 10:32 NKJV

Jesus was walking into a lion’s den. The disciples knew the Pharisees were just waiting for a chance to get rid of Him. They’d witnessed the many times the Pharisees had tried to trap Jesus. And they’d heard the words of warning Jesus had given them twice before: That He would suffer terrible things when He went to Jerusalem, be rejected by the religious powers that be, and be killed. And He’d rise from the dead.

They knew danger lay ahead, but there was no convincing Jesus to stay out of Jerusalem. They couldn’t fathom it. Their sense was to protect their Master, to keep Him with them as long as possible. Why would He knowingly go to a place where death awaited Him? They were amazed not only that He dared to go but also that His steps were firm, His attitude resolute.

Amazement was nothing new to the disciples. It had been a daily occurrence for the three years they’d followed Him, lived with Him, learned from Him. But their amazement turned to fear as they drew nearer to the “City of Peace.” Did Jesus want to die?

Yes. He had to, for only the sinless Lamb could become the sacrifice needed to take away our sins. This wasn’t what they signed on for three years earlier when Jesus invited them to follow Him. They thought He’d set up His kingdom and they’d be the bigwigs. James and John even asked to sit on either side of Him—the places of highest honor. How little they understood!

Isn’t the same with us? When we first decide to follow Jesus, we’re excited, amazed, hopeful for what’s ahead. Then things don’t turn out the way we expect. Instead of reward for our sacrifices, for our good deeds, we get trials and troubles. Like the disciples, we don’t fathom the eternal significance of our decision or of our daily choices. We don’t want to wait for our rewards. We want to enjoy them now. We follow Him in amazement at first, then as the road gets steeper and we begin to understand the real cost of following Jesus, the fear sets in.

The remedy for fear is to do what Jesus did: Focus on the Father. Like Corrie ten Boom said: “Never be afraid to trust the unknown future to a known God.”

Never let the amazement of following You dwindle, O Lord. Keep my face set to Jerusalem. Amen.

From God, Me & a Cup of Tea for the Seasons, © 2018 Michele Huey. All rights reserved. Used with permission.