How Firm A Foundation

Recently a multi-level parking garage connected to Turtle Creek’s pricey Renaissance Towers collapsed. Suddenly. Dramatically. So far investigators are baffled as to the cause but acknowledge the existence of a structural problem. As I watched the footage of the crumbled remains of a building that had looked perfectly fine on the outside but obviously had some major defect within, I saw a parallel with my spiritual journey.
You see, I grew up in a solid church-going family. My parents made sure that we kids attended church “twice on Sunday and once in the middle of the week” as the old song goes. And on a personal note, I followed the rules. I didn’t smoke, or drink, or do drugs; I never cheated in school; and I certainly never gave my parents cause for concern. I was a well-behaved young adult. And after I got married, that is how I raised my children. I didn’t worry much about my salvation because I was a very, good person! I looked great on the outside!
I knew God loved me, would protect me, and expected me to follow His rules. Actually I knew a lot about God, but I really didn’t know His son. Don’t get me wrong, our church talked about Jesus , especially at Christmas and Easter, but my vision of Christ was a cross between the gentle shepherd holding the baby lamb and the pitiful, tortured soul hanging on the cross as shown in the pictures hanging on the walls in my Sunday school classes. My Jesus was sweet, gentle, and vulnerable… a victim. I knew something was wrong on a foundational level with my faith because I had family members who had begun to talk about having a personal relationship with Jesus. I had no clue what that meant or how I could get it. Then two things happened. First I began attending a good Bible teaching church in Dallas, and second my brother Kent gave me a valuable piece of advice. He said, “Karen, if you want to know Jesus personally, pray that He will reveal Himself to you. That is a request He will definitely answer because it is completely in line with His will. “ So I did.
A few weeks later, I was sitting in a Sunday morning class in my new church listening to a teacher describe the crucifixion. At one point he said, “And the amazing thing is at any point Jesus could have summoned a legion of angels to halt the proceedings and annihilate everyone who had mocked or tortured Him. Instead He suffered the pain which was not only physical but also emotional and spiritual as He took on pure evil to absolve the sins of the world. What?? You mean He wasn’t a pitiful victim? You mean He chose to forego exercising the extraordinary power available to Him out of love for a wretched, undeserving world?
Suddenly the word “sacrifice” meant something completely new. I got it! And the missing piece of the puzzle slipped in as a beautiful new relationship began. The more I got to know Jesus, the more I realized how desperately I needed Him…needed salvation. As I studied His life and ministry, I began to compare my behavior and thought life to His. That’s when I realized I could never be good enough to earn enough points to get into Heaven. I was overcome with relief and gratitude that I might be included as His child even though I had so easily dismissed His sacrifice for all those years before.
That is why at age 52 I asked my brother Kent to baptize me in front of my husband, our church friends, my two adult children, and my baby granddaughters. I chose to be baptized even though my parents had baptized me as a baby because I needed to acknowledge that something dramatic had happened to me. This was a decision that I had to make for myself. For me it was not just a matter of obedience, it was a celebration of my new life in Christ, of being saved from sin to live a new life in Him. Being baptized didn’t save me. I was saved the moment I grasped the truth and claimed it; but that event gave me an opportunity to share the joy I had found with the people I loved most with the hope that someday others would discover what I had found. I thank God for His extraordinary patience with me and for giving me a foundation in Christ so rock solid that absolutely nothing can destroy it!
“How firm a foundation ye saints of the Lord
Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word
What more can He say than to you He has said
To you who for refuge to Jesus have fled?”

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s