Foundation Issues

“Everyone who hears my teaching and applies it to his (her) life can be compared to a wise man (woman) who built his (her) house on an unshakable foundation. When the rains fell and the flood came, with fierce winds beating upon his house, it stood firm because of its strong foundation.”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭7:24-25‬ ‭

Your house isn’t done after the foundation is poured. When you became a Christ follower your foundation was poured, but it doesn’t stop at that. Many people see this step as the finished product but it is purely the beginning. foundation is the most important part of your house, but remember that you have to keep building. Sometimes we struggle because it seams like the moment we have that foundation the rain starts to pour and we are standing there getting hit with life as we know it. Relationships fail, finances are tight, or your health takes a hit. I can honestly say that I have experienced all of those first hand. Just remember that God’s grace gave you that foundation not because you earned it but purely because He loves you. Now it is your turn to build.

You might be standing there and say “what the heck how am I supposed to build this house?” Suddenly you look down and see the directions. You pick up these directions and you start to read what to do and it’s great but a little confusing and you don’t have any of theses tools or wood.

Suddenly you see someone in the distance. They have all of this timber and tools. *sigh of relief*. But as they approach you see that they are incredibly wise but don’t quite look like the builder type. They approach you, introduce themselves, and then they tell you that they wont be doing any of the manual labor but they will interpret the instructions so that you have a deeper and better understanding so that when you build your house, it is done correctly.

You’re pumped! “Let’s do this! What do we do first?!” The interpreter says, “before you start throwing walls up you have to read these instructions with me and as you read them I will tell you what they mean.”

You get upset. *What is this stranger here for then if all they are going to do is read with me. I can read just fine without them and since they wont help me build I might as well tell them to go away*.

“Hey thanks for the tools and timber I think I have got it from here since I can read and I will figure this out. You have already been a great help, thank you, Bye.”

The instructions are harder than you realize so you set them down, grab a hammer and nails and go for it. It doesn’t look pretty but it turns out pretty functional and you are proud of your work and so you start to give your self a pat on your back.

Suddenly there is a storm cloud approaching fast. Wow really fast. Well it’s a good thing you have shelter! But before you know it the winds are pulling apart your patched up walls and with one big crash your house starts to crumble down on you. You duck and cover and just wait to embrace all the pain. But as your duck and cover, The house falls all around you but nothing hits you.

Looking up you see this beautiful light. How could there be a light since it was just storming like crazy. You see a man, but not just the man, you see that he is holding the shambled walls away from crushing you. He looks at you and calls you by name. There are two questions in your mind, 1. Who is this man and 2. Why did he save me?

The storms are over, the man sets the scraps down and approaches you. You are crying and thanking him and he grabs your hand and asks, “Why did you send away my helper? I sent him to you because I knew that the storms were coming and I wanted to make sure that this house was unshakeable. Luckily because of your foundation you are able to rebuild the right way, but this time call my helper back to help. You need him because without him, even with all your might, when the storms come all that you have built will fall. Your foundation is unshakable and strong, your helper is wise and needed, and I am your savior. I have taken the pain of your failures upon myself so that you no longer have to feel the full weight of them.

And just like that when the tears are wiped and you look up you’re alone with incredible peace. You call back this helper. You build a sturdy house that took a lot of work and when the rains came you were safe.

If you haven’t guessed it yet this is a picture of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. God is our foundation. The Holy Spirit is our helper, and Jesus is our savior. The house is a representation of our Christian walk. We can fake it and try to do it our way all we want but when financial struggles happen, someone you love dies, or tragedy hits, the reality that your life is crumbling around you is ever so real and then in comes Jesus. He saved us when he died on the cross. He took upon all of our sins willingly and was sacrificed for us, even when we don’t follow the instructions, the Bible, the way we should.

thank you Jesus for saving me.

He Provides

“God gives you your needs and your needs have been provided for” I kept telling myself. It was a broken record playing over and over again like one of those moments in your life that your brain for some reason wants to remind you of every single day. I felt like I was trying to convince myself that God had been faithful even though I am not going to lie, I definitely felt like He was holding back from me in that moment.

There was something I needed God to seriously intervene on and I just kept telling Him, “Okay God I know you will provide and I trust you.” But in reality what I meant was “WHERE IN THE FREAKING WORLD IS THIS THING I HAVE BEEN ASKING FOR FOR SO LONG?”

Now looking back I see just how entitled I was acting. My husband and I had just moved because we felt led by God, I changed Jobs, gave up luxuries, and I felt like it was God’s turn to give me this “need” I had been asking for since after all I gave up a lot for Him. I waited patiently. But I did snap.

Most of my honest conversations with God happen in my car. This particular morning I was sitting there crying and upset and I said this for the millionth time “God you say that you will provide for my needs and yet you’re not. I need this and it’s like you don’t even care.”

You see, we can measure our time here on earth. We do this by days and time but heaven can’t be measured because there is no end. It is for eternity. Since God resides in heaven which is not bound by time then why are we measuring God’s faithfulness and love on it? I actually don’t like the saying, “God’s timing is perfect” because God doesn’t work off of timing, he works off of His goodness and the opportunity that is best for his children. There I was sitting in my car just moments before work. It was 5:30am and I was a complete mess. It was his goodness and opportunity to answer my desperate prayer.

You hear it all the time and even sometimes preached from the pulpit, “God will provide your need. He will make sure you have food and water.” But how do you explain the children and the families starving to death and drinking water that gives them illnesses. How do you explain the people dying and being captured for their faith. How do you explain this. Truth is, we can’t. We know there is a devil that is here to kill, steal, and destroy but we don’t know why or how he chooses his victims. What we do know is that our treasure doesn’t lie in this world, but in heaven. and thank God for that because I don’t know about you but I think in heaven I would like to live a little better. This life compared to forever in heaven is such a short time.

I remember understanding this for the first time when my best friend passed away. I suddenly understood the brief time we have here. But even more importantly, I understood the eternity of Heaven. The pain that we experience on earth is no joke and I don’t want to belittle anyone’s hurt. Just remember “For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians‬ ‭6:12‬)

The Holy Spirit reminded me that in the end the only thing I need in my life is Jesus. I was dumbfounded. He reminded me that If I didn’t have food, a roof over my head, friends, acceptance, provision, or anything that we see as a “need” it wouldn’t matter because at the end of our day the ONLY thing that matters is that we have Jesus and share Jesus in every season. Sure that might sound easy for me to say since I can honestly say I have never experienced those things, but when the Lord gets a hold of you, his words touch you to the core and his understanding is given to you in its fullness.

It was after this “ah ha” moment that suddenly the burden of my request that I was demanding God I needed, was lifted. Truth is, Jesus answered my prayer 2019 years ago on the cross. He provided my need. He paid my price. And he saved my soul.

This may not be the answer you wanted if you are pleading with the Lord over something you see as a need. I wish I could tell you that you are never going to struggle and that being a Christian will mean an abundance of finances, health, laughter, and ease. Accepting Jesus is easy. Following him in every season can be hard. But just remember that our treasures are in Heaven and our answer is always Jesus.

A Godly Friend

It is not a mystery to many of you that my best friend of 13 years past away in the summer of 2016 at the age of 21. I have been wanting to write about our friendship for years now but I just couldn’t quite put the words down. I didn’t want it to be a sad story. I wanted it to point to Christ because after all, her whole life was about pointing everyone she could to the beauty of The Creator. I could go on and on about the ways she was absolutely amazing but that would all be summarized in the fact that she was was a true Godly friend.

Hannah Elizabeth Russell never gave up on people. We met in Sunday School at the age of 7. She only attended that church for a short while before moving to a church that was closer to where she lived but let me tell you, 7 year old Hannah would call me every single day. We only knew each other for 6 months and I knew that every day at 4:30pm She was going to give me a call. We did this until we were 12 years old and got our own cellphones. There were times that I wouldn’t text back, call back, or hang out with her and she would still reach out. I always felt like such an awful friend but she would just encourage me and hang on to me. I really didn’t know it then, but I needed her.

Through High School when I was causing trouble, she was always there to listen and give a firm, yet loving opinion. When we were together we had the best times. Plus, we would have these deep conversations about God’s unfailing love for us and things we were struggling with. We would pray for one another and almost always ended the night with a good High School Musical sing-along. Hannah loved me like God loves his people. Unwavering and never ending no matter what.

Sometimes as a friend you can feel as though you are growing apart from one another. Like you no longer have the same values. and before you know it, it has been months and you haven’t caught up or even sent a Snapchat. In many ways our faith is like this. I know I have felt like I have grown apart and grown out of my relationship with God. But the beautiful thing about God is that he never stops caring, calling, or loving. God is the perfect friend. He is a listener, guider, and unwavering presence. I notice when I have felt like he hasn’t heard me or that he is far, it isn’t because he has been silent, but instead I have ignored his calls and stopped reaching out to him.

I always knew Hannah was the better friend. No, she wasn’t perfect, but she really molded her life after Christ and loved people like she was loved by her heavenly father. Hannah changed a lot of people’s lives through her faith. I always looked up to her and still do. After her passing I was really challenged to be a better friend.

There are times with friends that you are giving 90% and they are giving 10%. As someone who has been that 10% giver I have chosen that with people, no matter what, I am not giving up. I will continue to love them, invite them, and be there. Love shouldn’t be conditional. It’s this idea that no matter what, I am there. No, I don’t do this perfectly but remembering the importance that Hannah was to me and the way she loved me like God loves me without ever stopping is something that I hold close and keep in mind.

This has pushed me to be a better representation of the love that is found through our Christ and Savior, Jesus.