It was early and the house was quiet. My Bible sat open to Psalm 31. With each line a new image formed in my mind. First was the thought of David fleeing for his life, dashing from cave to cave with an entire army in tireless pursuit. Reading on, I could imagine him caught in the shame of his sin exposed. Oh, the shock that would reverberate throughout his kingdom. Would the people know quickly that their king had betrayed their trust, or would it filter out slowly as the rumors grew - infidelity, murder, conspiracy?
"You expected much, but see it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away. Why?" declares the Lord Almighty. "Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with his own house." Haggai 1:9
And the rains fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. Matthew 7:25
About a week after our 9-month-old daughter was diagnosed with leukemia, while my husband was at the hospital, I was having our morning worship time with our children. Part of our worship time was listening to music, and this particular day, we listened to "All Things are Possible" by Hillsong. A part in the song is,
"Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!" - Romans 7: 24-25a
There is a war being waged in the members of our bodies. A battle between the spirit and the world. A challenge of joy versus earthly happiness. Material comfort versus a heavenly dwelling. Victory comes through our Lord Jesus Christ.
In her poem "Solitude," Ella Wheeler Wilcox wrote: "Laugh, and the world laughs with you; weep, and you weep alone." Much earlier, St. Paul the Apostle encouraged early Christians: "Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep" (Romans 12:15).
Years ago there was a slogan for one of the pickup truck makers: "Like a Rock." The company was borrowing the phrase that stood for something or someone solid and dependable. This metaphor of a rock was clearly intended as a positive comparison. If you change the context, though, it could be negative. For example, what if I said someone's heart was "Like a Rock"? That's not so great.
Having spent many months assisting my son in the construction of his newly finished house, and learning how much skill and effort it takes to build a home that will survive life's storms, this parable now has a deeper significance for me.
It's obvious that the house is a metaphor for each individual's life - for my own life. As believers, we understand that both the foundation and superstructure of the lives we live must be firmly resting on and fixed to the bedrock of Christ. Every other building site is sinking sand by comparison.
Seventeen years ago, when I was thinking about homeschooling, no one told me this little tidbit: Homeschooling can be exhausting. I learned that truth very quickly!
But I also learned that tiredness is not necessarily the enemy; it's when weariness combines with discouragement that things start sliding downhill. That's when I go to two of my favorite homeschooling verses.