Not too long ago, Melissa and I bought a house.
We looked for a while and at many houses.
Then we found it.
We were drawn to it by its curb appeal, the large windows, and the high ceilings.
We were so enamored by the way it looked that we didn’t notice (or at least, didn’t want to notice) the obvious red flags -the very things that made it beautiful: the large windows, the high ceilings, but most notably, the fifteen year old A/C unit in a thirteen year old house.
And now, here we are, on one of the coldest days on record, in a house that is seemingly impossible to get warm.
The temperatures are in single digits. It’s too cold for the heating pump, in what we’ve since learned is in an air conditioner unit that is too small for our house, to efficiently operate.
The heat runs non-stop to the point that the fan fails.
The auxiliary heat kicks in but is struggling to warm the house because, yet again, it is underpowered for our square footage.
So, here we are, in a beautiful house, miserable and freezing.
I’m talking about life.
We pursue the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes. We set our hopes and hearts on the superficial, things that will ultimately fail and leave us exposed to the cruel and bitter elements.
“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: “and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.
But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: “and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”
We go about life, picking and choosing what we will do and what we will believe based on what seems good to us.
“There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.”
We give heed to and prop up the rich and famous as our guides, scratching and clawing after fame and wealth thinking it will make us happy.
“But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.
Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.
Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.”
But something that suffering in a beautiful house that failed to protect me from the cold has taught me is, there’s a much better question to ask about my heart’s pursuits than “Will it make me happy?”
The better question is: “How well well it handle the storm?”
I’ve faced some soul crushing challenges in my life, I’m dealing with one now, but what I can say wholeheartedly is, since believing and following Jesus, I’ve never been left out in the cold. I have been able to carry on, to be at peace and have joy inside regardless of the storm raging outside.
“We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed— always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.”
—2 Corinthians 4:8-10
And, beyond this life, there’s a storm that’s coming. Scripture refers to it as The Great And Terrible Day.
Despite the grim and blood-curdling horrors of human history, the destruction and suffering of the full outpouring of God’s wrath against unrighteousness, the evil that corrupts His creation —everything that ails us, will be unimaginable.
The question is, how will what you’ve set your heart on handle that storm?
Find sure shelter for this life and beyond it.
Believe on the Lord Jesus and be saved!
“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the LORD, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.'”
“The name of the LORD is a strong tower;
The righteous run to it and are safe.”