Echoes From the Campfire

The lives of men are dictated to an extent far greater than most men wish to admit, by events beyond their control.  Man rides the ocean of history and does what he can to weather its storms.”
              –Louis L’Amour  (Under the Sweetwater Rim)

    “So the men marveled, saying, ‘Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?'”
              –Matthew 8:27 (NKJV)
         “Well, I left my soul out in the rain
          Lord, what a price, I’ve had to pay
          The storms of life are washin’ me away.”
                   –Randy Travis

I finished reading a book last week that depicted a storm in the middle of the second half of the 19th century.  This storm, a hurricane, wiped out the thriving city of Indianola.  The city at the time was one of the leading ports in Texas, but it laid in ruins only to be hit again a decade later.  Twice, and the city never recovered, though it did cause men to warn Galveston to build a seawall–the warning wasn’t heeded.
    There are all kinds of storms, and they come in different sizes.  I’ve been through hurricanes, tornadoes, hailstorms, snowstorms, blizzards, thunderstorms, windstorms, duststorms, and add to that a storm of a different kind, drought.  There is a key words I used–through.  I’m still here, I wasn’t maimed or killed.
    Then there are the storms of another sort.  I’m speaking of the storms of sickness, sorrow, suffering, depression, despair, finances and debt, marriage, kids and their personal storms, death, and a myriad of other types.  Currently we are in the midst of a virus storm.  We wonder will it ever go away, will like return to normal?
    Right now, stop–listen as I ask you–what about your next storm?  Don’t shake your head for one will surely come.  It may be minor, or it may be major.  It may be sickness or it may be a terror attack.  Storms are coming; storms are here; storms have always come.  How will you prepare yourself?  Let me take you to two men who prepared for the coming storm.

         “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.
         “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”
                   –Matthew 7:24-27 (NKJV)

    Two men, both build houses.  Both sought shelter and safety from the outside, a place where they could come home and real safe.  Both faced the same storm.  One held firm through the storm, the other collapsed.  There was a major difference in the two houses–the foundation.  That also showed a character flaw.  One depended upon a foundation built upon the sand–false ideologies, lies, cults, perhaps his own wisdom and because of this foundation when the storm it the house collapsed, and “great was its fall.”  We are not told if anyone was injured or if anyone was killed, just that it was a “great fall.”  The other man, not leaning on his own understanding, but built his house on the firm foundation.  The rock–the Word of God and Jesus Christ.
    One of my favorites stories in the Bible is about a storm.  You might recall it.  Jesus got in a boat and His disciples followed Him.  He must have been very tired for He went to sleep, and while He was sleeping a massive storm arose.  The waves rocked the boat and even covered the boat.  Jesus slept on.  Let’s continue reading,

         “Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, ‘Lord, save us! We are perishing!’ But He said to them, ‘Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?’ Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.”
                   –Matthew 8:25-26 (NKJV)

Fear struck the disciples because of the storm.  Terror arose in their hearts.  The Master didn’t care about them.  I like the way Jesus handled the situation.  First, He rebuked the disciples for their fear and little faith.  Then, He rebuked the storm bring about a “great calm.”  Who is this man?  He is the rock upon whom you can build your house!
    I don’t know your storm, or the ones you have been through.  I do know that often we do not learn the lessons of the storm.  We want this victory, or we want this to happen, but we often do not see what the Lord is doing.  “Sometimes he works on our inside before he works on our outside.  In doing this, he prepares our hearts for deliverance.  You see, when we’re stuck, our only thought is, “I just want to walk again.’  Jesus’ thought is, ‘I want you to live.’  We think, ‘I want to run.’  Jesus’ thought is, ‘I want you to be whole in body, soul and spirit.'” (David Wilkerson)  
    Build upon the solid rock.  Learn the lessons of the storm.  Perhaps if the people of Galveston would have heeded the warning from Indianola there would not have been 8,000 (or more) people dead in the catastrophe of 1900.