Posted by: Rex Boyles | September 9, 2007

Living “Under Construction”

There was a storm in my life. No one gave it a name like they did to Katrina; but it was a storm all the same – destructive – devastating. Jesus described it this way: “… the rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house …” My house collapsed – my life collapsed … and “it fell with a great crash”; because I was the “foolish man”. I could have predicted it. In truth … Jesus did predict it. “But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man …”


As surely as people can remember the day and the hour that Katrina hit and destroyed their house and changed their lives forever – I can remember the day and the hour that my storm hit and destroyed my life.


As I began searching for a way to rebuild my life, I found again the truth of the song we teach our children, “The wise man built his house upon the rock …”, in the words that Jesus taught His disciples on the mountainside. If Jesus was teaching them how to prepare for the storm – withstand the storm – overcome the storm, why couldn’t I take those same instructions and use them as a blueprint to rebuild my life after the storm? So once again I read – (I needed more than the song.) – “… everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man …”


I was fascinated by the phrase, “these words of mine”. Of course, I am sure that all of the words of Jesus would help me rebuild my life; but Jesus specifically mentioned “these words of mine”. What words? The words that he spoke to his disciples on the mountainside.


As I read “these words” from a new perspective, I was not looking to preach another sermon on the Sermon – not looking for a verse to support my view of prayer or pornography – not looking to analyze the modern or post-modern constructs of the message. I was genuinely and desperately looking to find a way to rebuild my life.


Seven years later – I am still trying to rebuild my life; but in that time I have begun to learn that the blueprint for a life that is under construction demands that:


  1. I must be completely honest and humble (if not humiliating) in the admission of my poverty. I have nothing to offer for my place in His kingdom. I am broken and broke. I am pitiful and poor. I am despicable and desperate. Only then will I find the blessing. (There is no room here for “pop psychology” that excuses my shamefulness: “Well, you are only human.”)
  2. I must be broken and contrite – devastated in despair. I was wrong … shameful … worthy of damnation. I cannot undo the sin … cannot undo the hurt that I caused my family, the other family, and the church I loved so much. Only then will I find comfort. (There is no room here for the excuse: “Well, it will be okay.”)
  3. I must be gentle – considerate – compassionate with others, who are desperate. And why wouldn’t I be. It does not matter what you have done – it could not be as damning or as damaging as what I did. I know the words and deeds of those who helped me and those who hurt me, so shouldn’t I show myself tender to those who are bruised? Only then will I find the blessing. (There is no room here for the excuse: “Well, they just don’t understand.”)
  4. I must be hungry and thirsty – eager to make things right with God and others … ravenous to eat the bread of life and receive His justification and intercession … obsessed with living right – His way – like His favored Son. Only then will I find fulfillment. (There is no room here for the excuse: “Well, I am doing the best I can.”)


You know the rest, so I will end with this. There is a storm coming. Don’t know what its name will be; but it is coming. Jesus said so. So get ready. Put “these words” into practice. If you have just come out of the storm … if you are looking for a blueprint to rebuild your life … start with “these words”. If you want or need a brother or friend, let me know – my life is also “under construction”.

P.S. I thank God for Ted Stewart, a former teacher and coworker of mine at Sunset, who was (and I hope will always be) a friend to this sinner. During dark days, Ted accepted me – encouraged me – even supported me financially. I disappointed him, terribly. My sin damaged our relationship, but he was gracious enough to forgive me and to pledge that he would continue to pray for me. Ted and I do not have the same access to each other as we once did – due to families and schedules – but I will never forget the hope that he placed in me that I could rebuild my life. His kindness toward me and his boldness for me helped me get my life “under construction”. Please pray for Ted. His health is failing, and it hinders his labor in the Kingdom. (If you would like to send him a card of blessing, you could send it to the Sunset International Bible Institute; Attn: Ted Stewart; 3723 34th Street; Lubbock, TX 79410.) I love you … Ted, and I thank you for being a friend of this sinner.  


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