My Favourite Stories #91

Captain Cook, Kauri Trees, and a Boy on a Bus.

A Small boy was on the bus going home from Church school. He had in his hand a motto card that said, “Have Faith in God”. The wind swept through bus and the card went flying out window. He shouted, “Stop the bus! My Faith in God Just went out the window” Let me tell you, the only kind of faith that will do that, is a surface, shallow faith. Matt 7:21 – 23 tells the story of the wise man who built his house on the rock and the other bloke who built his mansion on the sand. It was not until the storm, that the real difference became apparent. Whether a person has true faith or not is not that apparent when things are going well. But when winds blow and the storm comes, only genuine faith can withstand the crisis.

On a farm where I once lived in New Zealand there was a grove of young Kauri trees. They are the tall straight ones that Captain Cook used for replacement masts. One day a storm blew half of them over and I was saddened because they were beautiful trees. However, a close inspection revealed they had been undermined by bush borer and their bases were full of holes. The storm only revealed their weakened condition. Crisis does not change anybody. Crisis does not produce character, it reveals it. If you are going to have a faith that withstands the storms of life, then you must have developed it by becoming personally acquainted with Christ before the storm hits. He becomes your rock. Usually, a crisis will speed a person in the direction they are already heading.  For example, if you trip going uphill when you get up you are usually a few steps on. The crisis of falling usually puts you further ahead of where you were. C. S. Lewis said something like that in ‘The Screwtape Letters’ when he explained that God is even happy with the stumblings if we are stumbling in the right direction.

Courage, fortitude, faith, and implicit trust in God’s power to save do not come in a moment, they are heavenly graces acquired by the experience of years. We do not know our own hearts. I have seen people who have weathered the storms of a thousand seas only to (metaphorically) drown in their own bathtub. Jeramiah said, “The heart is deceitful above all things.” So, because of His love, God allows trials and temptations to come that we may see things as they are.

What I am talking about is not pie in the sky bye-and-bye but a piece on your plate while you wait. Christianity is bread for daily use, not cake for special occasions. The trouble with some is they have only been inoculated with small doses of faith and this keeps them from catching the real thing.

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