There was one specific day in my life when I came to the realization that my career of calling was going to be one that placed me in a front row seat in the lives of other people – both in the good times and the bad.
During the time of my several years on the staff of the church in Dallas, Texas that I frequently reference, there was a very bad accident at the church just after the morning service. A teenager was driving his parents’ car up to the door to pick up his mother, and for some reason the speed control kicked in unexpectedly and sent the car smashing through the doorway. Two teenage girls were exiting at that time and were hit by the vehicle and sent crashing back through the plate glass doorframe and into the foyer. One was severely injured.
I had spoken to that girl about one minute or so before the crash, having handed our first child Nathan – two months old at the time – to her. I walked down a hallway and soon heard the crash. She had handed Nathan to my wife and went to exit the church, greeted by the car coming the other way.
Both girls were from active church families, the most severely-injured teen being the daughter of parents who were both a prominent part of my music ministry. I recall talking to the father even as the ambulance pulled away. He said, “Randy, you never know what a day may bring. This reminds me of the Scriptures about how we make plans, but they might not be what God had in store for us on any given day.” We quickly went to the hospital and found that the injuries, though severe to the legs with much blood loss, were not to be fatal. She did indeed recover well and in fact went on some years later to marry the boy who hit her with the car!
In the many years since that time, I have been at the scene of many grieving families in the early moments of an unexpected life crisis. Though some folks are more emotionally prepared to deal well with crises, a factor that is far, far bigger is the nature and depth of faith that people have at that moment in time.
When calamity strikes with unexpected furor, there is no time to prepare spiritually. Those with a deep and informed faith and relationship with God, based upon a strong working knowledge of the Scriptures, are remarkably able to draw upon those resources in the darkest hour. Those who have not had that as a life discipline tend to more readily disintegrate and struggle.
The rains are going to come into every life and family; the floods are going to rise. It is merely a matter of when. And that moment reveals the foundational faith and strength of individuals.
The picture Jesus gives in today’s passage needs little explanation. We all know and understand the necessity of a foundation for any structure to be one of quality. A house with little to no footing does not probably look a great deal different from the one with the deep foundation … that is, until the flood comes along and reveals the difference.
In a sense, the regular bolstering of one’s faith through a continuous growth in the Scripture, prayer and walk with God is the best insurance policy a person may build against inevitable times of crises. We don’t wait for a devastating illness to fall upon us before we secure health insurance. That actually doesn’t work, does it? And it does not work well to wait until the day of trouble to turn to the Lord for divine enablement.
So … we meet regularly on Sundays at 9:30. There are additional learning center classes at 11:00. Beyond that are weekday men’s and women’s groups, home community groups and marriage clusters, etc. But I’ll give you credit for reading this devotional page! 😊
Luke 6:46-49 – “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. But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.”
I am really enjoying these devotionals.