Building on the Rock
On Thursday night, I had the great pleasure of being able to enjoy the company of people I consider to be family. As I was about to leave the house, it dawned on me that I never got the house address for where we were meeting. Luckily, I remembered that I could find this in the church directory.
Sadly, day to day (when it is not needed) this giant stack of papers, words, and photos is probably overlooked as just a giant stack of clunky papers, photos, and words (or now conveniently a large email file residing in saved mail). Patiently waiting, possibly collecting dust, until the eagerly-anticipated days it is pulled out and used.
As I was looking through the directory, seeing everyone’s smiling faces and welcoming poses….it hit me. "Look at all the pages of love I have been blessed with; look at all the family I have." It is beautiful epiphanies like these and other wonderful blessings that can be looked forward to when we build a house on a rock, “The Rock.” Because this rock is the rock of love, truth, patience, healing, comfort, all that is or could ever be virtuous and beautiful in this world; this rock is God.
Just before the end of Matthew chapter seven (vs. 24-27) there is a great metaphor for what happens when we let the very core of ourselves be based on the teachings of God verses the standards of the world. Instead of being swept away with the ebbs and flows of life's troubles, one can stand firm with the knowledge that they are loved and cared for above all else. Both Matthew 6:25-34 and John 15:1-17 are proof that when one opens their heart to love and the beauty of God that you will find love, protection, comfort, and peace everlasting.
For most of my teen and early adolescent years I was frustrated and distant; I was just going through the motions of life. So much so that when I was told I had a one-in-millions, incurable, deadly disease, I just laughed because what else could life throw at me. Life made no sense and all it seemed to allow me to accomplish was kick myself in the rear. Life is tough when it feels like it is you facing the whole entire world and all its problems. I made tons of changes to my life in that time, but it wasn’t until I opened my walled-off heart and let God in that I actually started noticing a difference.
Once I started letting God in, that anger and wall had started to melt away because of love. Suddenly, the very disease that killed my dreams was given a purpose and meaning; it became the hope in my life rather than the struggle. For the first time I began to understand what love and hope in love was all about. It isn’t all about a relationship with someone else. It is a trust that no matter what, everything will be okay, that there is Someone there to help day in and day out.
When I sought that in God, He in return gave me this wonderful family, one where I know I can go to anyone in that family for help, just as they know they can come to me. He gave me a love for community and a trust that I am a good person, that I can be not just a good person but a saved person. God taught me that I am worthy and that good things can happen when I am dependent on Him.
Being paralyzed has been a blessing because it teaches someone that it is okay to open your heart and ask for the help you need. It also helps you trust others and put faith that you will be cared for when you can’t do something on your own. To trust God and put my faith in Him that He will love me, protect me, and guide me (sometimes through discipline) is the best feeling. To be dependent on God is knowing that no matter what, you always are looked after and that you always have a directory.
Special thanks to Bob for all his hard work on the directory!
And thanks to all the deacons and elders and preachers who work behind the scenes to make all this possible!