When Not If

What a difference a word makes. The word ‘if,’ in my mind, is about probability. But the word ‘when’ means it’s just a matter of time. Some things are inevitable and we must be prepared for them. Hurricane season comes every year. It’s ‘when’ not ‘if.’ Does that make sense? I’m working on a message for our church in Belize. The passage of scripture on my mind is Luke 6:46-49

“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and don’t do the things I say? I will show you what someone is like who comes to me, hears my words, and acts on them: He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. When the flood came, the river crashed against that house and couldn’t shake it, because it was well built. But the one who hears and does not act is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The river crashed against it, and immediately it collapsed. And the destruction of that house was great.”


The text says “when the flood came.” ‘When’ not ‘if.’ As I pull my notes together to share about our time in Belize and our transition back to the United States, I’ve been reading this passage daily. At first, when I read the passage, it was the question Jesus asked that stood out to me. Then it was comparing the two foundations. But today, it’s the word ‘when.’

You see, we had promised Tom’s parents that when one of them passed away, we would come to live with the surviving parent to help them through the transition. We all knew that it was a matter of ‘when.’ The day just came much sooner than expected. Our lives were rattled and changed on the day Dad died, but our faith was not shaken. Each of us has spent five decades digging deep to build the foundation of our faith on the solid Rock. We are grieving, but we know that we’ll see him again someday.

Mathew’s version of this parable is more descriptive. He says,

“The rain fell, the rivers rose, and the winds blew and pounded that house. Yet it didn’t collapse, because its foundation was on the rock.” Matthew‬ ‭7‬:‭25‬ ‭CSB‬‬

It Didn’t Collapse

The house took a beating and remained standing. Dear friend, when life starts life-ing and the rain, the river, and the winds pound you from all sides, will you be able to stand? Dig deep. Obey that voice calling you to linger a little longer on that scripture. Start that prayer journal. Watch that YouTube sermon again. The storm will come, and when it does, we must be ready. Because it’s simply a matter of ‘when’ not ‘if.’

4 thoughts on “When Not If

  1. What when life knocks you clean off your feet !! What is happening here Lord?? That’s when you have to hold onto what you’ve known about God from past experiences, and hold onto His word and trust in His Sovereignty. Not even a sparrow falls from the sky without His knowledge and will.

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