I don’t know about you but I sure can use some stability this year. As a child my life, viewed from the outside, looked very stable. My parents were married, we had a nice home, two kids, dogs, cats, a little garden in the backyard. I was a Girl Scout and did well in school. And I felt so alone.
I blamed all my family problems on moving from the Los Angeles area down to San Diego when I was in 4thgrade. Everything seemed to change. My mom was extremely unhappy and angry so often and my father rarely spoke. My brother was fast approaching a time when the hidden timebomb of a manic-depressive disorder would take over his life. My parents weren’t what you might call a “team.” Having the benefit of hindsight, I realize now it had nothing to do with the move and everything to do with a lack of a solid rock within our family unit.
Not being raised in a Christian (or any faith) environment I found myself searching for stability through my parents and then friends and boyfriends. As my mother’s own mental health issues began coinciding with my brother’s, the atmosphere around my house became so volatile so I searched for peace and love through insecure friendships and lopsided romantic relationships. This led to competitive relationships and risky sexual behavior. All the while I longed for a firm foundation to set my hopes, my fears, and my need to find joy.
Thankfully, through God and a wonderful husband, I have found that “sure foundation,” as written by the prophet Isaiah. The promise God makes in this passage is that He is our solid rock, He is the stability for which we all yearn. He is the same today as he was yesterday. And He will be the same tomorrow. There’s no rug pulled out from under us. There’s no switching of loyalties. There’s no character flaw that suddenly comes to light and bites us. He is perfect. He is solid. He is the “rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge.”
Lest we miss the agreement part of this promise let me remind you of the last sentence of Isaiah 33:5-6: “The fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure.” There’s that other half of the covenant. Our part in this relationship requires us to exalt God and respect His place in the universe. He is God and we are not. And when we try to place others above Him, they will surely crumble, at some point.
I was reading today about an astronaut’s “lifeline.” NASA (the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration) considers there to be two lifeline systems for astronauts:
“From lift off through landing, the astronauts aboard the Shuttle along with the thousands of people supporting the flight on Earth depend on NASA’s team of experts to manage this complex communication system. Maintaining good communications is critical. The lifeline is comprised of two systems – a ground-based network composed of communication stations, and a space network operating orbiting satellites. As the Shuttle orbits the Earth, the NASA team monitors and continually adjusts the communication pathways to ensure that command, tracking, telemetry, video, and voice communications are clear and secure. “
I like that visual – a large team of incredibly talented people making sure our astronauts in space are able to accomplish their mission goals and come home safely. As Christians we have our own talented team that makes up our solid rock – God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. John 14:1
When we live in constant communication with our Holy team, they can continually monitor our progress, provide a firm foundation, and keep us on the right track – completing the mission and bringing us safely home.