Look, I have this porch. I built it myself. It’s right out my back door. WHAT ARE YOU DOING? You can’t just WALK on MY porch. You think it’s just there for your jumping pleasures?
Does that sound crazy to you? It sounds crazy to me! But the crazier part is that we all actually act this way. What? I am not that insane, Sarah, how dare you accuse me of such madness!
No reason to get so flustered, just hear me out, or, I guess, read me out? Whatever. Pay attention. We claim to have this stuff called “hope,” “love,” “peace,” and “faith.” Right? You have that, right? Well, what happens when God wants to test this “stuff,” which you claim to have gained?
Like when an acquaintance needs help, but, I mean, they’re all the way across town and you don’t really have a lot of money right now and the football game is on, and I mean, it’s ok, you can love them when it’s convenient for you. I’ll stay off your porch, it’s ok.
Or what about when you lose your job, crash your car, lose your friends, AND fall into extreme debt. What happens then? Do you still have solid hope that God loves you and has the best for you? Does that porch only hold if nothing is actually on it?
Or maybe you’re just really “busy” (a.k.a. out of control), and your boss is calling you to come in for work, and this coffee shop you tried to escape to is actually bustling with people and unusually loud music and they got your coffee order wrong and the man next to you is talking OBNOXIOUSLY on his cell phone…do you actually have a porch of peace, or does it only exist when you’re alone and nothing else is going on around you?
Or what about if you feel God nudging you to go tell that person in the row next to you that He misses them and wishes they would let go of their unforgiveness for their mother? I guarantee you that step of faith is much smaller than when God asked Abraham to take his ONLY son to the top of a mountain and SACRIFICE him. I always wonder if that terrified him as much as it does for us to walk up to someone and tell them something God told us about them, or if he actually had a firm foundation in his porch of faith, hope, and peace.
So what happens to your attitude when these trials come? Do you get angry at God for stepping out on your porch? Because you sing and talk of “hope” and “peace” and “love,” but as soon as God takes a step onto your porch, do you start yelling at him? WHAT ARE YOU DOING? WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS TO ME? Well, you walk on a porch. It’s not just for show.
Hope is the anchor that you know won’t move when your life seems to be drowning you. That’s how you know you have hope.
Love isn’t convenient. It takes dying to your own desires and looking to build someone else up for their benefit, and never yours.
Peace is the overwhelming sense of calm when your circumstances say otherwise. You are not a slave to your circumstances when you have true peace, but if you want something completely out of control and as broken as the world to determine your level of sanity, be my guest.
And faith? Well that’s the surety that I have a father in heaven who loves me regardless of the lack of proof. It means that I love God and he loves me and I know that. Period. It means that when God tells me to go on the World Race, I drop everything else I’m doing and just go. It means that when God says to work with college ministry, that I don’t care what anyone says about finance or future; I know that he created me to share freedom with college students. It means that when God calls you to something that NOTHING ELSE MATTERS.
So world, jump on my porch. Throw boulders at it. Send anything and everything to try to break it down, because I know that no matter what, my porch will hold. Not because I built it, but I’ve met the builder. He’s a pretty good builder, in fact, I hear he grew up as a carpenter’s son, and I would even venture to say that he’s the best builder.
Who built your porch? Mind if I jump on it? Will it hold?