…he will be the stability of your times…  Isaiah 33:6  ( ESV)

When we were children, Papa decided it was time to find a larger house for his growing family.  We settled in a beautiful new home, and Papa’s diligent gardening made our lawn the envy of the neighborhood.  It wasn’t long, however, when hairline cracks began to appear in the walls of our dream house, and Papa announced that we’d be moving again.

This time Papa didn’t trust a ready-built house for his family.  Not at all.  He and Momo found a one-acre lot in a suburban neighborhood, and Papa and a friend built our forever home from the ground up.  When it came time to put in the landscaping, it was clear why Papa had chosen this particular neighborhood:  under the few inches of topsoil, there was solid rock.  The house is still standing, and when last I was inside, there still wasn’t a crack.

2020 was a year none of us will forget.  Perhaps, with me, you celebrated New Year’s Day with anticipation of a better year—a new vaccine for the dreaded Covid and the opportunity for our country to return to work and to life as we know it.  Perhaps we might even look forward to planning a family trip or a reunion with loved ones we haven’t seen since shut down.

Just barely into January we saw that relief would not be coming soon.  From any quarter around us.  UNLESS we look to the Rock.  Isaiah (51:1-3) from of old exhorts us to:

 ” Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness, you who seek the LORD:  Look to the rock from which you were cut, and to the quarry from which you were hewn…  For the LORD will comfort Zion and will look with compassion on all her ruins; He will make her wilderness like Eden and her desert like the garden of the LORD.  Joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and melodious song.”

The foundation of our lives, the Rock on which we are built is the only stability that will see us through these stormy times.   And he is sufficient.  He IS the stability of our times; he will not be shaken; he will not be broken; he will not disappear.  Anchored to him, we can weather the tempests, and when they are over, we will still be standing.

              My hope is built on nothing less
              Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness
              I dare not trust the sweetest frame
              But wholly lean on Jesus’ name

              On Christ the solid rock I stand
              All other ground is sinking sand
              All other ground is sinking sand.  (Robert Critchley)

Father, save us from ourselves and the false notion of self-reliance.  We stand in you.  In Jesus, our Lord.  AMEN.


Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. I Peter 4:12 (NIV)

I’ve just finished reading a memoir from international evangelist, Sammy Tippit, Unashamed, in which he describes his faith journey. I was often uncomfortable as I saw him move from heights of great spiritual accomplishment to depths of despair; as he successfully ran the original Greek Marathon and then physically collapsed; as he braved underground ministry in forbidden countries and then trembled at “ordinary” threats. Yes, I was uncomfortable that this great man of God seemed so human.

And then I started looking at all the things Sammy experienced: suffering, faith struggles, weakness, humiliation, rejection, waiting, and so on. As I examined these tests, I had to admit that we all face “fiery trials.”  They may be different from Sammy’s, but they’re tailor-made for us.  There are no exemptions to the School of Suffering, and, while we all experience great mountain top experiences, there are also incredibly hellish nightmares. It’s just that most of us are not embarrassingly candid about them.

Just as we may vacillate from flying to walking and sometimes to standing, we can rely on the Savior to be with us at all times. We’re given his Spirit, and his Word protects us from those darts of the enemy that seek to penetrate into our very thought lives. We are created to follow and worship him, and he has provided the remedies for all those “fiery trials.”

Sometimes we don’t feel like soaring; we’re too weary to run; and we don’t seem able to even put one foot in front of the other. Does that mean we’re knocked out of the contest? Absolutely not. There’s even an answer for that. …After you have done everything, … stand (Eph. 6:13).

God’s got every aspect of our journey covered. Onward.

Father, thank you that you walk with us through each step of our lives. Remind us that our struggles are not unique—even your Son suffered as we do—and cause us to glorify you in all things. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.