Dianne Barker here with encouragement. The Lord asked a penetrating question: “…who is he who will devote himself to be close to me?” (Jeremiah 30:21). He yearns for us to draw near, to know his heart, to walk with him in obedience, to put his teachings into practice.
Jesus said, “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” (Luke 6:46). Then he explained why it’s important both to hear (read) and to apply his Word.
“I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice. He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete” (Luke 6:47-49).
Although I’d followed Christ and read the Bible since childhood, I didn’t really study the Bible until I left my journalism career to be a stay-at-home mom. Starving for wisdom to rear my little ones in the ways of the Lord, I searched the Scriptures for direction.
God gave me time to dig deep and establish a foundation on rock before the torrent struck. By the time my children hit the complicated teenage years, the flood threatened to wash me away. Those intense days coincided with our massive care-giving assignment. Since my three older siblings lived out-of-state, my youngest brother and I looked after our aging parents. But my brother also had health issues requiring much care. My husband, an only child, had no one to share the load as his parents declined in health.
As we cared for four parents with multiple issues, I felt David’s distress. “Save me, O God; for the waters have come up to my neck. I sink in the miry depths, where there is no foothold: I have come into the deep waters; the floods engulf me” (Psalm 69:1-2).
Although I treaded water, my house didn’t collapse and the flood didn’t wash me away. Isaiah had thrown me a rope.
“But now, this is what the Lord says—he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: ‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior…’” (Isaiah 43:1-3).
Life’s challenges sweep in like a flood, hurling us into water up to our neck. But the God who created us and redeemed us and called us by name said, “Fear not…I will be with you.”
Faith grabs that promise like a rope and finds in the miry depths a foothold the torrent cannot shake.
Dianne Barker is a speaker, radio host, and author of 11 books, including the best-selling Twice Pardoned and award-winning I Don’t Chase the Garbage Truck Down the Street in My Bathrobe Anymore! Organizing for the Maximum Life. She’s a member of Christian Authors Network, Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, and Christian Women in Media. Visit www.diannebarker.com.