‘The LORD has taken away your punishment, he has turned back your enemy. The LORD, the King of Israel, is with you; never again will you fear any harm.’ (v15) Zephaniah 3:14–17
The Christian life is counter-intuitive. We are taught from birth to do all we might to avoid pain – physical, emotional and psychological. I was naive enough once to think I could live just such a life. Even after finding faith and accepting that bad things happen to God’s good people, I wanted to assume that God would spare me. And of course He didn’t.
In the fury of the storm that engulfed me I quickly appreciated how little time I had invested in laying solid foundations for my faith. I truly was like a ship without a rudder, tossed to and fro upon the roughest of seas.
On reflection, I inwardly groan at the degree to which my Christian façade collapsed, established as it was on the quicksand of ego, pride and wishful thinking. I wondered if there was anything substantial about my faith, or was I simply one of the hypocrites who talked a good game?
It was in learning to trust in both the truth and power of God’s Word that began a process of rebuilding. Like Francis of Assisi, I had to go in search of bricks and slowly attempt to repair this temple of the Holy Spirit now devastated by forces of nature well beyond my control.
Since then I have made some progress, further storms have come and gone and, despite some necessary repairs, the temple has stood firm. I no longer fear harm, I’ve found my faith legs, I will entrust myself to God in any storm.
SCRIPTURE TO CONSIDER: Psa. 42; Micah 7:1–7; Matt. 7:24–29; 2 Cor. 1:3–11.
AN ACTION TO TAKE: It’s only by working our faith muscle that we can be sure of withstanding the storm. That’s the primary reason we seek to learn to live every day with Jesus.
A PRAYER TO MAKE: ‘Lord, may I grow like a tree planted by water, that ‘yields its fruit in season’, ‘whose leaf does not wither’ and learns to prosper in Your love alone. Amen.’ (see Psa. 1:1–6)
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