by Rebecca Vickery
“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built.” Luke 6:46-48
In 1998, on March 13 in the middle of a small café, I heard about Jesus in a way that instantly connected and resonated with me. He was not a far-off Savior unfamiliar with my suffering, but a man/God who loved me enough to live a life devoid of privilege, facing temptation and suffering, and to die that I might have a relationship with him. My response was a radical shift from an earlier me who had laughed in the face of someone who shared a gospel tract with me. Instead, I knew that I could have no response but to follow him forever. I was 16 years old. After this time, I would devour the Bible as if I truly required it for living. Because I did.
I have a treasure trove of His word in my heart from my earliest days of following Jesus. Even now, when I am spending less time in His physical Word than I should, I still have this treasure trove to return to. I can reflect upon it, and it comes to mind readily when I am spending time in prayer or faced with stressors in this world.
God’s Word lays a foundation in our hearts that cannot be broken when battered upon by fierce winds or rising flood waters. I reflect upon this even as our state capitol is under water and being threatened by an overtaxed dam. Our physical world around us can literally be washed away, and if we have a foundation that is built upon the Rock that is Jesus, then even if we are crushed, even if we are outwardly wasting away, even if we are swept away in the floods, we will stand firm.
My health has been so strange and frustrating for me in the last few years. I have faced relationship challenges that have left me bewildered. I have faced health issues with my children that have kept me up nights researching. I could lament and cry at God, and ask Him why my life can’t be as perfect as everyone else’s looks on facebook. But instead, I cry with God and thank Him that He’s there with me when I do. And I rest upon my foundation. The rock on which I stand.
Jesus told us that in this world we would have trouble, but that He would give us peace. Peace that passes understanding. Recently my good friend spent a sabbatical at our home after the recent passing of his mother. At the end of his time with us, he thanked us for a peaceful sabatical. Even amidst the chaos and overpopulation of my tiny home, he had a place for refuge. Peace that passes(d) understanding.
Lord God, we know that you control the winds and the waves. We know that you can bring restoration and destruction. Lord we need your mercy in our state. Please help the people in Montpelier and other areas affected by the flood waters. Preserve life and preserve properties. Preserve our infrastructure and restore roadways that have been damaged and communities that have been cut off. Lord I also pray for those experiencing a metaphorical deluge of flood waters. Be our firm foundation. Help our hearts not to be troubled. Help us not to be afraid. Remind us of your promises and your mercy that is new every morning. Help us to be rooted and established in your love AND in your word. We know that you are the one who keeps us from falling. Help us come to you even when we can just communicate to you with our groanings. Thank you, Holy Spirit, for interceding as we need it. In Jesus’ Name. Amen