About this blog: Discussing religion, spirituality and values. About the writers: Amy Umble is the religion reporter for The Free Lance-Star. Janet Marshall is the religion editor for The Free Lance-Star.
COLUMN: Strong foundations help in shaky times
THIS PAST Monday, my daughters and I attended a field trip at the Fredericksburg Battlefield National Military Park. Scanning the rows of nameless tombstones, I was overwhelmed by the horrific loss of life that took place on this hallowed ground.
A mere 150 years ago a deeply divided United States of America saw no other way to resolve problems than to declare war upon one another. The battle that took place in our fair city claimed thousands of lives and injured thousands more.
I think of my own great-great-great-grandfather, Thomas Pryor Adams, who was called up in July of 1863 by the Union Army to a little town in Pennsylvania called Gettysburg.
His wife, Nancy, was five months pregnant at the time and was left behind to worry about what the future would be like for her 3-year-old daughter and her unborn child.
Waking up this past Tuesday morning, I felt a great connection to my ancentress. Like her, I live in a divided country. We face financial uncertainty due to the government shutdown. To make matters worse, we found out that our health insurance premiums will rise as of Jan. 1, 2014
I was sick to my stomach with worry as I walked into Community Bible Study that morning. During the opening prayer, my mind wove a tangled web of one dreadful scenario after another until God broke through the darkness with song No. 52 in the hymnal.
At the top of my lungs I sang, “On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.”
In Matthew 7:24–27, Jesus shares the parable of the wise and foolish builders. The wise builder builds his house on the rock of Jesus Christ. When the rains come down, the streams rise and the winds blow, but the house does not fall because its foundation is on the rock.
Conversely, the foolish man builds his house on the shifting sand of this world. When the rains come and the winds blow the house collapses with a great crash.
As Americans, we so often trust our government to provide safety, peace and prosperity. We idolize the gods of freedom, liberty and justice while making a pseudo-religion out of our patriotism.
Although our country was founded on Christian principles, it cannot compare with Christ Himself. True security will never be found in the temporary trappings of this world, but rather in the “foundation stone” that is Jesus. “It is a precious cornerstone that is safe to build on. Whoever believes need never be shaken.” (Isaiah 28:16)
I need to remind myself
of these truths moment by moment, day by day. Just as I start to feel a peace about the current state of affairs, I turn on the television or read a news story that shakes me
to the core all over again.
Like the disciples crossing the Sea of Galilee in the storm, our boats are constantly buffeted by the waves of this world. But it was in the middle of the storm that the miracle happened. Jesus walked on the water and when he reached them he called Peter out on the waves to meet Him.
As long as Peter keeps his eyes on Jesus, he is able to walk on water, too.
Unfortunately, like us, his attention turns to the wind and—taking his eyes off of his Lord—he begins to sink.
When we keep our eyes focused on Him, no matter what we face, we will not be pulled under. Instead, He will help us rise above raging storms of this world.
History tells us that nations rise and nations fall, there will be times of war and times of peace, of prosperity and of famine. Through it all one things remains the same. The Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Have you been affected by the government shutdown? If so, please send me a message through my website as I would love to pray for you and your family.
Heather Ablondi is a women’s ministry speaker and author who resides in Fredericksburg. You can contact her through her website, www.heatherablondi.com.