It was -24 Fahrenheit this morning. That’s stupid cold. But it made for a neat metaphor.
My house is 100 years old this year. Over that time a lot of changes have been made to the original structure. Electrical wire was run through the gas pipes when gas lighting went out of vogue. The dreadful old tub (with a light fixture next to the shower head) is long gone and a modern bathroom in its place. The yard has been turned over, a new garage, and lots of changes.
The house was built on a strong foundation. It was made as only homes of that era were in this neighborhood – custom woodwork, strong beams, solid floors. Over the last 20 years we’ve invested well and wisely in things like new windows, doors, a new roof, a deck, and numerous modifications to the electrical and plumbing systems.
The last time it got this cold was 1996. We’d lived in the house 3 years at that point and it did a small amount of creaking and howling when the temp dropped out of sight because it was largely unchanged from when we bought it. Because of all the changes in the last 20 years last night was pretty loud. Stormy didn’t sleep too much with the nails groaning, windows snapping into place, and joists creaking.
I was, however, unconcerned that we would make it through the night. For this house, like the life Christ asks us to live, was built solidly. Not on shifting sands, not with cheap construction, but with care, love, and proper maintenance. I knew that we’d come out the other side in good shape. I know I’ll come out the other side of death in good shape as well.
If you predicate your life on the foundations of God’s love you will find that a few boards pop now and again, some new paint is needed, and your windows fog a bit, but you weather the storms and troubles that life throws your way. This old house, and I, both creak more than ever before. We both have some parts that are almost worn out and will need to be replaced down the road. But come morning, regardless of the temperature, we’ll both be here.
It’s a comforting feeling. I’m warm inside while others are not. I pray for them today that they might find shelter from the weather. I pray for them the rest of the time that they find the refuge in Christ that I’ve ensconced myself in these past few years. It’s a cold and lonely place out there when it’s -24 and the sun is long since over the horizon. It’s even worse when God is not part of your life.
Say a prayer for those outside the house of God this morning. Check your foundation and make sure that it’s not in need of some work. I know mine needs constant tending and I’m glad to put in the work.
Be blessed and warm today. I’ll pray for you.