As an infantry soldier I spent a lot of time sleeping in the great outdoors. Most of the time when we slept in the field we did so without any sort of a tent or anything like that, we simply laid on a mat we carried and covered up with a poncho liner. However, every once in a while we would get to build a hooch. To build a hooch you used a poncho, some tent stakes and bungee cords. When you built your hooch you had to build it strong enough to hold up to winds and rains that might come up in the night. Since our building materials weren’t the strongest materials in the world you had to be very careful how you built your hooch.
There were some things you had to do in order to build a hooch that would survive a storm. First you had to build it low to the ground. This not only gave the wind less to ‘grab’ on to, but it also made for a smaller silhouette that made it harder for the enemy to see it. Secondly, you had to tie it off in as many places as possible. There were 8 reinforced rings on the outer edges of the poncho that were perfect for this. Thirdly, you had to be sure and cinch the hood closed and tie it off slightly elevated from the rest of the poncho. This made sure rain didn’t run into the poncho through the hood and it made sure the poncho didn’t have to hold water.
To build a hooch that would survive the winds and rains took a bit of time. After you had built your hooch you would pull all your stuff in and go to bed. If a storm came up in the night the screams of those who were getting wet and chasing their poncho told us clearly who had taken the time to build their hooch correctly and who had cut corners so they could get a few extra minutes of sleep. One thing that was really interesting about this is that most of the hooches that didn’t make it looked okay on the outside. It wasn’t until the storms came that you could tell their hooch wasn’t built correctly.
There are a lot of Christians today that are a lot like those poorly built hooches. On the outside they look okay. They have homes, cars, possessions, family and really just about anything a person could want. By all appearances they are living the American dream. Despite their appearance, their stability is flimsy.
Their lack of stability is clearly seen when a storm comes into their lives. The upheaval the storm brings shatters the image of stability they are showing. This results in their family being torn apart or severely damaged. Peace and contentment become strangers. Many times this instability causes psychological problems and physical illness. The joy and victory that is supposed to characterize the Christian life is gone seemingly never to return.
Have you ever wondered why some Christians can go through tremendous trials and come through with amazing testimonies, a faith that is stronger than ever and deeper commitment to Christ than they’ve ever had, while others are nearly destroyed by their trial and crash in horrific defeat? It is because there is something wrong in the way they’ve built. This week I’m going to write about how to make sure our lives are built to last.
For further study read Luke 6:46-49.
What should we do if we call Jesus Lord?
Why did one house stand and the other house fall?
What are some of the storms that come into our lives?
What is the right foundation for our lives?