Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Storm Damage

My An Arkie's Faith column from the March 7, 2018, issue of The Mena Star.

As I drove into the driveway of my shop, my heart sank. The roof of our pole barn that we use for storage was a twisted mass if tin. The storms that night had severely damaged the roof, and the heavy rains had soaked everything inside the building. For the past month, it seemed that there had been one disaster after another in our lives. 

Because of the heavy rains that our area was experiencing, it was a week before we were able to repair the roof. When we were able to repair the roof, we discovered that over the years the roof had been leaking and the wood had rotted. When the storm came, the weakened wood wasn’t able to withstand the high winds. Besides repairing the roof, we had to replace the rotten wood.

I think sometimes our spiritual life can have leaks. I know mine can. When I am focused on what can go wrong more often than what can go right; those thoughts are not from God. Those thoughts are little leaks that over time can leave us spiritually damaged. Focusing on the negatives in this life leads us to fear, and fear is an enemy of our faith. 2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV) tells us that, “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

There is something about a strong faith in God that can help us deal with the big trials in our life. God wants us to have faith in Him and not give in to fear when trials come. When a devastating hardship crashes into your life, if your faith is strong, you can reach out to God to free you from the fear. 

Most of our fears and worries in life are pesky little leaks that drip, drip, drip on the foundation of our lives. Often these small fears and worries drip into our lives undetected. But if we are dwelling on these fears, we are not focused on God’s power. Fear undermines our faith. Jesus said, "Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?" Luke 12:25 (NIV) God hasn’t given you a spirit of fear. He has given you hope.

Worry never works! It can’t add a single hour to our life. Jesus tells us, “since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?” Luke 12:26 (NIV) Worrying never solves problems, and it wastes our energy and time. Worry weakens the framework of our faith in God.

The damage that worry causes to our lives is slow but steady. Little by little, it can rot away our faith until our foundation in God is no longer strong. When the storms of life come, we are not able to withstand them. If I had taken time to repair the leaks in our building, the roof would have withstood the storm, and the major repairs would not have been needed. We have other buildings that have similar leaks, and we are making plans to repair them so that we won’t have major damage from a future storm. I don’t want the statement found in Ecclesiastes 10:18 (NKJV) to be true about me: “Because of laziness the building decays, And through idleness of hands the house leaks.”

Because I ignored the small problems, it allowed the major problem to come up. In life, there can be small problems that creep into our lives. Little things that come up and begin to create damage in our lives. 

Although fear and worry can undermine your faith, they are not the only things that can be a constant dripping in our lives. Anger is another thing that can cause a lot of damage. Paul tells us not to give the devil a foothold. In Ephesians 4:26,27 (NIV) he wrote, “in your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.” Anger gives the devil a foothold, and it eats away at our relationship with God. 

In my life, I have a problem with anger. When I feel that I have been mistreated, I get angry. And especially when I see family members and people that I care about being mistreated it makes me angry. Anger eats away at me and even gets in the way of my relationship with God. My anger at people spills over into anger at God. I become angry with God for allowing people to mistreat my family and me. Paul knew that this could be a problem and give the devil a foothold. Paul’s advice on dealing with people who make you angry is found in Ephesians 4:29 (TPT) “Never let ugly or hateful words come from your mouth, but instead let your words become beautiful gifts that encourage others; do this by speaking words of grace to help them.” 

Gentle Reader, if there are any small leaks in your life, bring them to Jesus. Don’t allow them to build up in your life and cause major destruction and destroy you. Don’t let worry or anger weaken your faith in God. Letting worry and anger take hold in your life, will slowly undermine your faith in God. As in the case of my roof, the small leaks can eventually cause major damage when the storms of life come. Don’t let your roof leak. “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” 1 Peter 5:7 (NLT)

No comments:

Post a Comment