Isolation

A New Roof

Author: Chaplain, Lt. Col. Brendon O'Dowd, USAF, (Ret.)

Photo by The U.S. Army is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Out of sight, out of mind.

The saying applies to many good things in life, including the roof on a house. Very few people regularly inspect their roof assuming if there are no leaks, then there’s not a problem. That way of thinking can be disastrous with an old roof in a heavy rainstorm. Buckets and rain jackets are not going to solve the problem.

The Storm

Perhaps you are in a spiritual or emotional storm right now. There was a time when I was in a storm and knew the wind and rain were pummeling my “house”. I was afraid my “roof” was not going to hold. I believed my foundation of faith was secure (Matthew 7:24ff), but the poor decisions I made left me vulnerable. My decisions even negatively impacted my family, but my storm brought out my fear, and fear has a way of shrinking my world so I am focused only on myself.

I instinctively sought protection, and sadly it was from a false Jesus. My reason and faith had been replaced by panic, and listening was the last thing I wanted to do. My only choice was to ride out the current storm and then pay the price to fix the structural damage that occurred.

Humility & Fellowship

There were two key structural supports that I let slide, my humility and the need for fellowship.

It has often been said humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.

Rank, promotion, and being selected for important positions easily led me to think only of myself. I began to believe I was essential to mission success, while forgetting God works through me and provides rank and promotion for the purpose of His mission.

Fellowship to me was something that other people needed, forgetting I needed other believers active in my life to accomplish God’s mission. I isolated myself from accountability because I thought I knew best.

Fortunately, Jesus is a master builder and can help us restore the eroding structures in our lives.

He gently (and not so gently at times) reminded me that I was a fool in neglecting key supports. I was like the Galatians (3:1ff), who began their Christian lives with so much joy and power in the Spirit, but drifted away by doing things in their own power and for their own glory. By His grace He began making necessary repairs through Paul’s ministry and preaching. He did the same for me and He can and will do the same for you.

There is a way out of the storm and it requires you to ask Jesus to be your anchor in the storm (Hebrews 6:19).

It requires you to make a commitment to be humble (1 Peter 5:6): recognizing God has given you wonderful gifts of family, friends, special talents, and abilities.

The Mission

He wants you to play a key role in the mission of making His Kingdom a reality in this world. This belief also requires that you make a commitment to find and regularly practice fellowship that keeps you focused on connecting to your family and people in the church (Hebrews 10:24-25).

So let’s take Jesus’ direction to heart. “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock” (Matthew 7:24-26).

If you are dealing with this issue, you do not need to face the challenge alone. Jesus has conquered every challenge so you can move from your present situation to a life of overcoming hope. Invite him to lead you in your journey. He will forgive, comfort, and heal you.

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