In 2015 my husband Alex and I planned a vacation to Cancun, Mexico. On vacation I typically look forward to having a break from my daily, normal routine. This vacation there was one part of my daily routine that I was not going to neglect, and that was the time I spent seeking God. You see at this time in my life I was realizing more and more that if I truly wanted to know Him, I had to be reading His word. God could speak to me in the beauty of the sunrise or through a song I heard on Pandora and He often does, but His words are powerful. They are living and active (Hebrews 4:12). They are a lamp to my feet (Psalm 119:105).
I needed His words to drive out the fear and doubt that I was experiencing. Alex and I had been talking about starting a family and although I was excited, I was also filled with fear. I feared infertility. I feared miscarriage. I feared still birth. I feared having a child with a medical diagnosis. I feared SIDS. I feared having a precious child and losing them at age 8 or age 48. At the heart of this fear was the thought that I wasn’t sure if God was only good. I have known people that loved Him and experienced great tragedies. I knew that they could happen in my life as well. I was not immune from them. So how was I to approach motherhood knowing that at any moment He may take my child away from me? How could I surrender my dreams of having a child when I didn’t know if my dream was safe with Him? When I didn’t know if He truly wanted good for me? Honestly at one point I was scared to trust Him because I thought He was vindictive towards me. I was scared that if I said “Your will be done” in this area of my life then He would certainly bring every tragedy imaginable because I was allowing Him too. In my mind if I held my dreams about being a mom in clenched fists then I could protect myself, my baby, and my family from any harm. I could be in control.
It wasn’t until I read the parable of the wise and foolish builders that my heart started softening towards Him. I have heard this parable so many times but as God’s word often does, it reveals something new in each season of life. I had never realized before that the one thing the wise and foolish builder had in common was that they both experienced the flood (Matthew 7:24-27). The truth that the floods in this life were going to come regardless of whether I surrendered my dreams to the Lord or not began to sink in. I could not prevent myself or anyone I loved from the floods. They are inevitable because of this fallen world. But I had the choice whether to build my house on the sand, or to be like the wise builder and build on the rock. The foolish builder’s home on the sand collapsed when the storm came. The wise builder experiences the same flood and although I imagine the house shows signs that it has been through a storm, it remains.
In order to build on the rock, I needed to hear Jesus’ words and then put them into practice (Matthew 7:24). If I believed that the Bible was the truth then I needed to examine whether my thoughts of who God was aligned with who the Bible said He was. When I found inconsistencies, I began to wrestle with my doubts. And I did wrestle. For the first time I was really, really honest with God. I told Him exactly how I felt, exactly what I was terrified of. But I also told Him that I wanted Him to change my heart so I would see Him for who He truly is. A good father. Full of unfailing love. Wanting and planning good things for His children. And what I found was when I was honest with Him, when I told Him how I felt, He could take it. He could handle my doubts. He already knew them anyway. I began to pray these beautiful, freeing words, “I believe, but help my unbelief (Mark 9:24).”
I am so grateful that I wrestled with God during this time in my life. That I found that He is only good and that it was my perspective that needed to be changed. I am so grateful that I built on the rock. Because a flood did come. We did get pregnant and we did have a miscarriage. The loss was heartbreaking, but my house still stood. I knew that He was good and that He was going to spend the rest of my life redeeming my pain, if I allowed Him to.
Right now, I am not experiencing a flood in my life. But I know the next one is on it’s way. I’m not trying to be pessimistic, just real. We live in a sinful world and the evidence of that is all around us. My next flood is coming and I wish it wasn’t true, but so is yours. Jesus did not sugarcoat the truth that we will have trouble in this world. In John 16:33 he specifically says “you will.” Not maybe. Not most likely. Not if you trust in me or if you deny me. Just you will. I wish with all of my heart that this wasn’t true. And if the verse stopped there I would tell you get you pajamas on, grab a pint of ice cream and hide in your bed. But thankfully He does not stop there. He says “You will have trouble. But take heart! For I have overcome the world.” Just as we are about to hunker down in bed, Jesus adds that He is greater than any trouble we will face.
We can’t stop the floods from coming, but we can intentionally build our lives on the lasting hope that Jesus has given us. If you have doubts tell them to God. You will discover as I did that He can take them. He is strong enough. Find out where your thoughts of His character do not align with who the Bible says He is and then wrestle with it. Do not let the fear of the flood keep you from building on the rock.