“And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew….”
I think all of us have had experiences like those described by Jesus in chapter seven of the Gospel of Matthew. I remember a particular storm from my days as a boy when a December tornado in 1982 hit my town of Malvern, Arkansas (I was only 11 at the time.) Another time, I served a church in Oklahoma, where they only have two seasons – Football and Tornado. The most recent, a leap day tornado, struck our church building in Branson. A five-foot chunk of concrete was blasted through the outside brick wall into my office. This actually fast-tracked our church building remodeling plan, which ended up being a blessing.
Nevertheless, this is not a meteorological trip down memory lane. Nor is it a reminder that Spring storm season is just around the corner. Rather it is evidence that God indeed does cause it to rain on the just and the unjust (Matthew 5). Storms come upon all of us, rich or poor, smart or average, beautiful or typical, saved or unsaved.
The difference is not in the storm but the builder’s preparation. Which is precisely the point of the story Jesus told. The rains, floods, and winds beat upon two similar houses. Before the storm, they may have looked identical. However, after the storm, one still looked like a house; the other was a rubble pile. The only difference? The foundation.
I am sure it was much easier to build on sand compared to rock. (I remember the rise in costs of constructing foundations in Southwest Missouri when we hit rock.) It may have also been more pleasant and close to the beach or even have been the beach. Day after day, both families enjoy life. Maybe even year after year or decade after decade. Everything looked great, until it wasn’t.
For many people, 2020 was that kind of year. As a nation that had not suffered a pandemic in almost a hundred years and surely with medical advances, our civilized society was well past vulnerability. I mean, for real, they tried to stop a disease by wearing masks?
And yet, here it happened and is still happening. As of this writing, over 518,000 were ushered into eternity due to COVID in the United States alone, where the “normal” flu-like viruses claim between 30,000 to 60,000 annually. It is a reminder of the fragility of life and the unexpected threats against it.
Ultimately, the call of the passage is for every person to build their life’s foundation upon Jesus Christ, for there is only one way to the Father (John 14). Assuming The Pathway’s readership is a mostly “saved” group, then the secondary call is for everyone to diligently complete all of life’s other preparations before the storm.
If you were to get COVID or another disease, or if your car were to go off the road without the 12 airbags inflating as they did in Tiger’s SUV, or if all of the Raisin’ Canes fried chicken you have been eating clogged your arteries and suddenly, you were gone, how would life look for your family? Would they have the financial resources they need to survive the grief of your passing? What about your legacy? Would your church be able to continue the ministry you so faithfully supported? Or worse yet, what would happen if the storm left you incapacitated without the proper legal work to make decisions on your behalf?
By creating your kingdom and family plans now, before the storm, the people and ministries you care for will be on a solid foundation. You never know when the next storm, or then, the final storm will strike.
Check out MBF Presidnet Neil Franks’ new ebook on Amazon for helpful tips on getting started. Just go to Amazon and search “A kingdom and Family Plan by Neil Franks” or request a free e-copy by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.