The flight landed late, and for the life of me I couldn’t remember where I parked the car. After nearly a half hour of searching, furiously punching the key-fob as I huffed and puffed my way through the garage, I found it—covered in what looked like dead love bugs.
Two and a half hours. That’s all I had to drive to get home. I’d been in Canada for five days, speaking at a conference that had proven stressful and frustrating with glitchy technology, team tension, and lots of loneliness.
Forty-five minutes from home, rain pouring, I hit a giant pot-hole, popped a tire, pulled off at a Holiday Inn, got a room just before midnight, and defeatedly called my husband to tell him what happened.
I laid down in the hotel bed, furious that I was so close to home and disheartened by yet another seeming failure.
“I did all that hard work for you and this is what I get?!” I thought, the angry prayer bubbling up inside of me. “I spent the weekend in a foreign country preaching the Gospel, and you give me a popped tire and another night away!” I fumed at God.
I was angry because I expected the work I’d done for Him to yield nothing but good results, right away. I thought my efforts are what bring about God’s blessings. And yet, I’d built my foundation on sand by thinking that (see Matthew 7:21-29).
It’s not my work, no matter how well done, that brings me close to the Father. At least not at first.
We grow close to Him and become attuned to His will when we give Him our heart. We become firmly rooted in knowing and resting in His love. This love is shown to us not just when we do the good work, but when we listen to His voice, a voice speaking love, tenderness, mercy, and peace into our life.
It’s knowledge of His perfect love that lets us live within His abundant blessings, setting us on that firm foundation we hear about in the Gospel today. Our work flows forth from the solid rock upon which we stand. We stand there, even with popped tires, forty-five minutes away from home after five nights away, knowing we’re going to be okay because He is there, too, with us as the winds blow.