When the decision was made to dedicate our lives solely to Christ service, Nick and I began to pray a very specific prayer. Incessantly and persistently we asked God to tear down the foundation of our “house”. Desiring a home built exclusively on God’s foundation we realized our current home, although appearing beautiful and strong, had groundwork which was very weak. To continue building on with meaningless wants and desires would eventually cause the walls to come crashing down. We needed to rebuild!
Although it has been tough and most days we want to retract this prayer, God is without a doubt answering it. Over the past few years we have felt our house being torn down bit by bit. We have received this refining with thanksgiving, but as many of us all know our prayers never get answered with our own methodology. This hasn’t been a step-by-step renovation where we get to place all the orders: “Okay, today God take out this wall! Now, you may remove the ceiling. Here you go this is the color I chose!” No, this is not his approach. His way is often a little messier, far different, and far better then expected.
Last week nature gave us a not so soft, not so gentle reminder of our renovation desire. As we sat at our kitchen table eating lunch we suddenly heard a loud cracking noise, followed by a humongous thud on our tin roof. Then, our entire ceiling began collapsing overhead. Quickly grabbing Duro (the women working in our home) we all ran out the other side. Once outside we realized a large tree had fallen on our roof over the kitchen. No wind, no rain, just a tree with old rotten roots had buckled. The tree caused damage to nearly half our roof and ceiling, however, because of the strong walls and foundation the remainder of our house was left unscathed. Most importantly our family was safe as well!
Looking back, we are able to take away many lessons from this experience. The three foundations involved- the foundation of the tree, the foundation of our physical house, and the foundation of our lives- have painted a vivid picture for all of us. The tree was big, tall, and seemed very strong. However, its roots were dry and weak, and the slightest wind caused it to fall. Our house appearing simple, but built with careful attention received some damage. However, its foundation and walls stood strong against the tree. Then, we look at ourselves. Our lives have been tested this past week, this past month, and these past few years in ways we never intended for and never asked for. Far from our plans, and far from our desires. However, through the rubble we still smile with an ever increasing joy! Our house is now built on solid rock and even when the roof comes crashing in overhead: We will not be shaken!
“They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17: 8
“Rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” Colossians 2:7