It was time to write again. The last four months have been the craziest out of the year so far…the most chaotic yet in order, the most trialling yet rewarding, the most uncertain yet encouraging.
The bible describes Jesus as a rock. But not just any type of rock…It’s a rock worth building a house upon. Can you imagine how heavy a house would be? Sounds silly- but for any builders- they would be out of their mind to build a house on a unstable foundation. Right? That just wouldn’t make sense. The house would only last so long. When we build a house- and especially when its your own house- you want that thing to last. It better withstand a bit of rain, a bit of wind. That house is going to raise a family, it’s going to nurture friendships, it’s going to be a place of safety and refuge after a long hard day’s work.
“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”
9 years ago I made the decision to begin to build life upon Jesus. To build upon: as in to find my worth in, to rely on, to seek love from, to find purpose in. Jesus. However somewhere along the way as it happens so often in life, like a piece of debris on an ocean shore… I began to drift from keeping the main thing, the main thing. This drift begins to take place, ever so subtly and it’s without the constant reminding and intentionality of bringing that piece of debris back into line, that it doesn’t drift again. God has reminded me (what grace I tell you!) in the last couple of months, the idols (things that I have put above God) that have taken up place in my life. It’s quite easy to highlight these idols- their the ones that give you the most grief when they don’t come through for you- you get angry and frustrated..depressed if you will.
“The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply…”
These idols have sneakily become apart of that foundation. The foundations we build our lives upon dictate the course of that life.. (or house if you want to stick to that analogy). It might sound silly but I know there would be people who could relate. The constant striving, the constant achieving to the end of finding worth in these things- wow- I just don’t want to do that anymore.
And I don’t have to.
Salvation is found in Christ alone. I am saved by grace (unmerited favour from God).
Ephesians 2:4, 8-9
But God being rich in mercy because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ…for by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works…”
God didn’t wait for us to get it together- his love for you and I was so ferocious and relentless that he sent Jesus to redeem mankind, because Jesus stood in our place and took the punishment for our sin.
What! Amazing grace.
That’s why it is amazing. These are some of the most incredible lyrics written by John Newton. So unbelievably refreshing.
John Newton (1725-1807)
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.
T’was Grace that taught my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed.
Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
‘Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far
and Grace will lead me home.
The Lord has promised good to me.
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.
Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.
Yes, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease;
I shall profess, within the vail,
A life of joy and peace
What an incredible freedom. It is from this incredible foundation of grace alone in Christ alone, that I can build my life regardless of my failures and shortcomings.
Things in our lives are always shifting and changing…it’s good- but building your identity on something that is shifting & changing brings an instability. However the one unchanging thing that has been the same yesterday and forever is the unshifting and relentless love of God.
Psalm 18 is so epic (in referencing the story found in 2 Samuel 22: “David spoke to the Lord the words of this song on the day when the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul.”)
He said .. (And you can just imagine him declaring this with a shout!)
Psalm 18:2, 31
“The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge, my saviour; …
For who is God, but the Lord? And who is a rock, except our God? This God is my strong refuge and has made my way blameless.“
With David I say, I love you O Lord my rock.