I reside in North Las Vegas, a region not foreign to crime. In fact the Insurance rates for my zip code are among the highest in the Nation due to theft and burglary. We purchased this house in 1999 as I began to receive custody of my boys and our growing blended family required more space. The house had already been vandalized before we moved in, so I had my brother, an ordained Greek Orthodox Priest, drive up to do a traditional House Blessing of Protection on the structure and it’s occupants.
This house is located on a cul-de-sac along with ten other homes. In speaking with neighbors over the years I can safely state that every home in our cul-de-sac has been burglarized at least once since we moved in, and most of them, twice! The house directly across from me was hit in broad daylight even though the owner kept two large and loud Rottweilers in his yard. Every home has been breached…that is, every home except mine! No, I didn’t install the latest home security system or upgrade my doors and windows. Oh, but they have tried! I can walk around my home and point out where they tried to jimmy the lock on the front door, where they attempted to pry open the garage door, where they damaged the back sliding door-all in failed attempts to enter this house. Amateurs? I doubt it. So what? I’m convinced it’s because a hedge of unseen protection remains on this dwelling because before we set up residence we dedicated it to God and covered it with His hand of security so that nothing could come against it as long as we remained in it.
Those who know me and know a little about my story over the past two years will tell you that I have suffered my share of storms and would-be intruders. The enemy who would come to invade and steal has come at me from every angle, and every point of access. I have been hit with storms against relationships, against my finances, against my health and against my very soul. I am no saint. When the winds blew I wanted to give in. I had little energy or will to fight back, and like my house, I have scars and evidence of the attempted intrusions that I will carry forever. But, also like my house, I was dedicated to God when I entered into this life, and those two Godly parents who dedicated me continued to pray as I weathered the storms of these past few years and as a result, I did not come crashing down in total calamity.
In Matthew 7 Jesus makes a comprison between those who hear his teachings and put them into life practice and those who hear but ignore the lessons;
“Therefore anyone who hears my words and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on a rock. The rains came, the streams rose and the winds blew and beat against the house , and yet it did not fall because it’s foundation was rock solid. But everyone who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house over sand. The rains came, the steams rose and the winds blew against that house and it fell in a total collapse”.
None of us can skate through this life untouched by storms of change, of trials, of severe testing. And if you profess Christ, you are guaranteed times of suffering. I know, it’s not popular and doesn’t preach well on Sunday mornings, but it is scriptural. “In this life you will have trials”, Jesus warned us. Not if, but when. It is in these trials that the mettle of your foundation, your faith, your genuine status of Christ follower, will be exposed for all to see. Will you be left standing after the enemy comes against you with high winds and driving rain, or will you crash into rubble and be swept away with the flood? There is no sin or shame in suffering. There is glory in surviving it! The witness is in the mercy and grace of God when we need it most.
How is it with you? Rock or sand?
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