A Foundation of Faith

house on rock

I walked into my bedroom the other day to find my husband teaching our boys how to tie a tie. We didn’t have any special occasions coming up so I asked him what prompted this.

“They’ll be leaving for college soon. I only have five more months to teach them grownup stuff.”

Later that week he took them outside to show them how to jump start a car.

I understood what he was doing. He wanted to give them a foundation before they left us. To make sure they had what they needed to launch into adulthood and live on their own. It’s the same reason my dad taught me how to balance a checkbook and my mom taught me how to cook before I left for college.

It got me thinking about my own foundations – figurative and literal.  My dad is a homebuilder and when I was a little girl he would take me and my sisters to new developments where basement foundations had been poured and dried, ready for the framing of a new home. These lots became our playground. Holding tightly to my dad’s hand, we used to run across the hardened concrete like a wide balance beam.  The foundation was strong and sturdy.  We knew it would hold us up.

That’s what our faith does for us…it holds us up. It’s solid and steady and helps us feel safe and grounded when the winds blow and the rains lash. Jesus beautifully illustrated this during his Sermon on the Mount:

“Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock. And everyone who listens to these words of mine but does not act on them will be like a fool who built his house on sand. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. And it collapsed and was completely ruined.”  (Matthew 7:24-27)

We often talk about faith as something we have to initiate.  We have to “practice our faith” or “believe.”  And because of this, we may find that our relationship with God swells and dips, and sparkles and fades over the years. But there’s another way to look at it.  Our gift of faith is in fact initiated by God, our loving Creator. Just like parents doing their best to provide their children with the tools they need to succeed in life, God has provided us with everything we need. The foundation of God’s love, strength, and power is always there.  Steady and strong…like a rock. “The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer.” (Psalm 18:2)

All we really have to do is what Jesus teaches us:  “Listen to these words of mine and act on them.”

And keep clinging to the Rock of Ages, no matter what.

 

Background photo by Pedro de Sousa on Unsplash

Love Enough

Last week’s post, What Does it Really Mean to Trust God, came at a perfect time for me.  Tomorrow I send my twin boys off to their first day of high school.  Four more years before they strike out on their own, to see what the world and our God holds in store for them.  The ticking of the clock is deafening.  And so I wrote this prayer to help me remember what I have always known.

Kindergarten

LOVE ENOUGH

Loving God,
The day draws nearer
when my children will fly out into the world.
To discover, to fall, to grow, to cry
To choose, to lose their way, to find it again.

Fear grips my heart with icy fingers
What if…they choose wrong?
What if…they fall hard?
What if…they do not find their way?

I want to hold them back,
gripping them with my own icy fingers
Hands that used to let go all the time
Taking first steps, riding a bike, getting on the school bus
Why is it so hard this time?

Have I done enough?
Have I prepared them…enough?
Have I taught them…enough?
Will I ever be ready…enough?

I sigh a little
And cry a little
And pray a lot.

And then one thought echoes in my frightened, restless mind.
“Do not be afraid.”
And I remember
What I have always known.

They are in YOUR hands
And that is enough.

AMEN.