Survival methods for life dwellers
Bad things happen to good people. They also happen to bad people, at about the same rate. I hate that children get sick and that disasters happen. I hate divorce, poverty, unemployment and all the other ills of life. But they happen anyway – to all of us, in one way or another.
Jesus never promised an easy life. In fact he assumed that life would be tough. Take this parable in Matthew 7:24-29
The expectation was that attack would come from all sides – rain pitching, floods rising, gales blowing on wise and foolish alike. The difference wasn’t in what happened to them, but in the spadework they’d put into life. That’s what affected the outcome.
In the Galilee area, stream beds dried up in summer, leaving a tract of land that looked to the unknowing newcomer a very convenient location for building. But of course, when winter came the water would reclaim its territory. The locals would recognise the stupidity of such plans. They knew that if you wanted a house to survive all climates, you had to put much effort into its foundations.
Crowds would gather wherever Jesus stopped to tell his stories. It was easy listening for the most part. A rest from work, sociable, lots of humour, miracles from time to time, even the odd free lunch. Who wouldn’t want to stop by and listen? So long as you didn’t take it too seriously.
But listening wouldn’t help, Jesus said, when the going got tough. You had to put the words into practice. That was, and still is, the only remedy against succumbing when disasters come along in life.
Going to church never saved anyone. Being there, one of the crowd, listening to what the preacher says is not enough. Even reading the bible for yourself won’t do the trick on its own. The words have to go deep inside to the point where they change what you do, how you live life, your language, your attitudes, how you press on in faith. When the storms of life come – and no-one is immune – the ones who cope are those who have absorbed and fed on the Word of God, anchoring their lives, obeying.
Lord make me hungry for your Word. Help me dig deep, so it affects every area of my life, that I may hold fast to you when storms come, and know your peace in every situation.