Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Once upon a time.....

Once upon a time, there were three ladies.  They all professed to be Christians, they were all wives and mothers, but they were not all quite alike.

It was known, far and wide, that there was a big, bad, "wolf" who wanted to devour these lovely ladies.  He wanted to get to them, and harm them - he wanted to hurt their lives - he wanted to destroy their families. He was cunning - he was canny - he was subtle - and above all else, he was dangerous.

The first lady, in an effort to protect herself from his wiles, built a house of "straw".   She had made a profession of faith when she was young.  The knowledge of that was about all she clung onto, in her protection from the wolf.  She hardly read her Bible - she hardly ever prayed.  Her defence against attack from this wolf was weak, because she was resting in her own strength, and her own ability to fight him off.  Understanding of God's Word, and how she should be living it, was hardly existent. The wisdom of worldly friends was more important to her, and from listening to them, she tried to build up the straw a bit thicker, all in her own strength. Respect for her husband was nil, bringing up her children according to God's way was then lacking, she wanted to be out of her home more than in it, and her family was suffering - all because of her weak defences.  In due course, because she lacked any wisdom at all, she began to pull parts of her straw house back DOWN, as it didn't look so much like the "houses" of her worldly friends, which were all aesthetically beautiful, and admired by others, more than her house of straw.

One day, when the house was at its weakest, the "wolf" came along.  He huffed and he puffed - he roared and he growled - and without much effort at all, the house blew over.  

Off the first lady went, running to her friend's house that was built from sticks.

THIS lady, had things going on a bit better.  She went to Church regularly, along with her family.  To those on the outside, her house looked fairly sturdy.  However, looks can be deceiving.  This house didn't have very strong foundations.  This lady knew what she should be doing in her life, but she was still trying to do it in her own strength.  Some days things would go really well - she would lovingly submit to her husband, she would teach her children well, she would have good relationships with those around her - she would care for her home, and run things well.  But those were only SOME days.  It didn't take much, and things would still fall apart.  Reading her Bible, and praying, was inconsistent.  She tried to be a good example to her friend who had fled the "wolf", but because her faith was weak, and her knowledge of God's Word was lacking, her example was not its best.

But then, it happened.  The "wolf" came along tot he house made of sticks.  He had to huff and to puff much harder this time, but huff and puff he did.  He came on the perfect day, because despite this lady's best intentions, she hadn't read her Bible for weeks - it was left sitting in a corner.  Things were not great with her husband, and relationships with her children were at a low point.  So, when that "wolf" came along, her house of sticks eventually came tumbling down.  She was shocked - she had thought her house was fairly sturdy, and never imagined that it could be toppled so easily.

Both the ladies went running to that third house.  This house was the most amazingly fortified dwelling you have ever seen.  It had solid foundations, and walls that were impenetrable.  She let the ladies come in, and they clamoured to ask questions.

"Why are your walls so strong?", they asked.

"Well, I didn't build them myself," she replied, "my defence and strength comes only from the Lord alone.  I am weak in my own strength.  The only way I can protect myself from that ravenous wolf is to look to the Lord and His word.  In it I find all the wisdom I need to strengthen my life.  I find all the instruction I need to have a godly marriage, and to raise my children.  It isn't always easy to rely on God's strength instead of my own, but it is always best, and for my own good ad protection. Yes, the wolf sometimes stops by.  He tries to huff and puff in my marriage, and we sometimes get blown about, and ruffled up a bit, but he can't blow our house down.  I have weak days, sometimes, where I am foolish - I tear down the shutters on the windows, and unbar the door a little.  I don't submit to my husband, or I rely on worldly advice and wisdom in the running of my home and training of my children.  I forget God's ways and do things my own way.   It's on those days that the "wolf" ruffles things up.  But, do you know what?  My senses quickly return, and the shutters get slammed back up and the doors are barred again.  My marriage quickly returns to where it was, and my home life resumes its God honouring ways."

Right enough, before long, the "wolf" came along.  He huffed an he puffed.  He blew and he blew even harder.  He even tried to dig under the walls, but no matter how far he seemed to dig, the foundations were deeper still.  He gave up and he went away to find another house to blow over.

"You see," said the third lady, "that is my truest defence.   Not only are my walls strong, but my foundations are deep.  Further still, they are built upon the sold rock underneath.  No matter how hard that wolf blows, this house won't fall down.  The only thing that could make this house fall down, is if I start to pull it apart - brick by brick - chipping away at the mortar - hammering at the foundations with my own hands.  If I look to the Lord as my defence - if I cling to His wisdom and truth that keeps these walls so rock steady - then this house WILL stand, no matter the storms around, and the wolf blowing with all his might."

Those other two ladies saw the wisdom and truth that the third lady spoke.  They saw the evidence as the wolf had tried to blow the house down, and it had hardly any effect.  They looked around, and saw many other houses that were like that one.  How the wolf had blown hard, in many, many ways, and yet the houses stayed firm - death, illness, job losses, money problems, husbands who were not all they should be, children off the right track - none of these things resulted in the wolf blowing down the house.  They saw that God's grace wrapped around the whole dwelling, and His everlasting arms underneath.  They saw that they needed to repent of their ways and seek protection in Christ alone.

The words of my story are weak.  But, the sentiment is genuine, and the analogy so accurate. I see my own heart, reflected in the dwellings of those ladies....and see how I need to keep my shutters closed, and how I mustn't chip away at the bricks of my own house. I mustn't tear it down with my hands.   Our family, and our lives, will only withstand the attacks of the wicked one, if we have lives built upon the rock, and depending upon the defence of the Lord alone.  That will only come if we are seeking His Word, searching out truth, living it out in our lives, and coming before His throne in prayer.

Straw, sticks or stone?  Which house are you living in?

"Be thou my strong habitation, whereunto I may continually resort: thou hast given commandment to save me; for thou art my rock and my fortress"
Psalm 71:3

"Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands. "
Proverbs 14:1

(Inspired by reading the 3 Little Pigs with Daniel yesterday, for his writing lesson - isn't it funny how God speaks to our hearts, in the every-day sort of ways!)

1 comment :

  1. Great!I I will use it today for english/bible lesson. It spoke to my heart. Thanks!