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Monday, January 25, 2016

Same Rain

The house does not fall, but it is not exempt from the storm.

The parable of the two houses (Matthew 7) usually receives attention for the promise. Jesus says that if we live according to His Words, we will be like a wise builder who builds on a strong foundation, namely Himself, the Rock. One of my favorite songs in first grade Sunday school consisted of a repetition of the story that ended with hand motions highlighting the drama, "...and the house on the sand went SPLAT!"

This results-orientation glosses over an important element.

"And the rain fell and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house..."

It's true that it doesn't fall. It's true that the Rock holds it up. But the wind still shakes it and the floods still threaten and the house is beaten with the same storm that wracks the house on the sand.
The wording in the passage is identical for both houses. Not a drop of rain omitted.

Somewhere along the way, Christians picked up the idea that we would experience different rain than the houses built on the sand. Yes, Jesus said we would deal with suffering, but certainly it wouldn't be mental illness or sexual confusion or divorce or child abuse or incarceration. Maybe we expected that we would be persecuted for our faith or have a financial strain here and there, but there are some things (you know....the truly awful things) for which we think we'll get a pass.

We're Christians, after all.

But that's not the picture that we get from Matthew 7.

If your rain looks remarkably like the rain falling next door, do not despair. Your source of hope is not the difference in weather, but the Rock on which your life is built.

Let it rain.

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