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A recently crochet project taught me the importance of stitching the Foundation Row correctly. Not close, but exactly right. I was making a beanie and tried to fudge the first row, the Foundation Row. The error in my Foundation Row grew until, by the end of the project, I didn’t have a beanie, I had a mess. (I shared the whole story, including embarrassing photos, in my newsletter this month. Not getting those? Subscribe now.)

It was a great illustration of a biblical truth: getting your foundation right is critical.  By “foundation” I mean, your system of thinking and the beliefs you hold to be true—you know, the things you build your life on.  It’s that foundation that we must get right.  You may not realize it when things are going along smoothly and you’re making rows and rows of stitches living life at a steady clip.  But at some point, you’ll come to a place where what you built your life on is going to show. Suffering will do that, for sure.

BUILD ON A ROCK

Think of the man who built his house on the rock, not on the sand.  When the storm came, the foundation did its job and the house stood firm.

The story is in Matthew 7:24-27 (NIV):

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

Notice that it wasn’t until the storm came and beat against the man’s house that he could see for himself that his foundation was secure. How will we know if our foundation is solid as a rock? By seeing how well it holds up during a storm.

What storms have beat against your house? What did it reveal about your foundation?

STORMS DON’T SURPRISE GOD

While I was in rehab trying to make sense of my spinal cord injury, God designed a moment when I saw for myself, like the man in Matthew 7, what my foundation was built on.

I was talking with the psychologist assigned to my case. He sat in the empty visitor’s chair and looked at his clipboard as if it was a crystal ball. Maybe if he asked the right questions we would both discover the right answers.

He asked, “Who do you go to when you need to talk?”

“Chris. God. My girlfriends,” I said.

“What helps when you’re struggling?” he asked.

“Listening to praise music and reading the Bible,” I said. “Writing. Going to work and being useful to my bosses. Sitting in my backyard. Taking my dog for a walk.”

He didn’t respond but let that hang. I wanted to talk about God. I felt like making lists of helpful things was like slapping on a band-aid. I wanted to focus on the Healer. I didn’t want to evangelize, I just wanted to talk about the one person who was capable to help me.

I took a breath and asked, “Do you believe in God?”

“Organized religion isn’t really my thing,” he said, “But my grandfather founded the largest church in Kansas.” Hmm… I didn’t know how to respond to that but I felt a strong urge to keep going so I whispered a prayer and opened my mouth. I didn’t know what I was about to say, I just started talking.

“Do you know the story about when Jesus sent his disciples into a storm?” (I had just studied it with my girlfriends over the phone.)

He moved his head in a vague way.

It’s in the book of Matthew. Jesus put his disciples in a boat and told them to go to the other side of the Sea of Galilee where he would meet them. In the night, a storm came and toss the boat so hard, his disciples, seasoned fishermen, thought they were going to die. But then Jesus came and quieted the storm.”

No comment from the professional in the chair by the window.

“Jesus knew that storm was coming and he sent his disciples into it anyway. It wasn’t an accident. And he kept them safe, they were never in real danger.” Words kept tumbling out. “God knew this spinal cord injury was coming to me too and he didn’t stop it. This is my storm and he’s with me in it, just like he was with the disciples.”

That’s all I said. That’s as far as the conversation got. He said a few things about how having faith can be beneficial. Then he left.

AH-HAH Moment

It wasn’t until after he left that I realized the words I spoke were actually… for me. I had just reminded myself that my injury didn’t take Jesus by surprise. I realized that I really and truly believed Jesus sent me into the storm of a spinal cord injury. It wasn’t an accident, which was the explanation all the doctors had given and from a medical standpoint, it was.  But it wasn’t an accident. God was in control the whole time. I may not have been in control of the situation (it was a storm, after all) but God was, and in the eternity of time he was keeping me safe. Jesus was with me.

Knowing that no part of my injury was an accident—none of it was a surprise to God—was so comforting.  It gave me peace, the peace I was looking for. It helped me accept my injury and the new life ahead of me. Don’t be fooled by those pretty words, I was in shock!  And I was incredibly sad. I cried every day, but panic and despair didn’t have control over me, not this time.

Sharing the truth in God’s Word revealed to me the truth about my foundation—it was stable. It was rooted in the faithfulness of God. He had been faithful to the disciples. He would be faithful to me.

What have storms revealed about your foundation?

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Republished with permission from Blogs.crossmap.com, featuring inspiring Bible verses about Storms of Suffering Reveal the Strength of Your Foundation — Nicole O’Meara.

Republished with permission from blogs.crossmap.com

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Crossmap.com is a Christian living portal website serving the U.S. and global Christian communities. It is pan-denominational, viewing all Christian denominations as equal constituents of the body of Christ, and all Crossmap staff and contributors adhere to our statement of faith.

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