When I was a kid, my Sunday school teacher taught me a song about the wise man and the foolish man.

The wise man built his house upon the rock (x3)
And the rains came a-tumbling down
The rains came down and the floods came up (x3)
And the house on the rock stood firm!

The foolish man built his house upon the sand (x3)
And the rains came a-tumbling down
The rains came down and the floods came up (x3)
And the house on the sand went splat!

So build your life on the Lord Jesus Christ (x3)
And the blessings will come down
Blessing come down as your prayers go up (x3)
So build your house on the Lord!

As I write this out, I realize how much this song stayed with me – how it shaped my expectations and essentially formed my worldview.

It’s not the worst mantra. Build your life on the rock – on Christ’s teachings of love and forgiveness. Do this because you will need a sturdy footing when the hurricane comes. Do this so that your life won’t fall apart in hard times. Do this so God will bless you.

I always pictured the wise man inside his house as the storm raged on outside. He’s fine. He is untouched. He can just go about life unharmed and unafraid. And so the expectation was formed. I would go through life protected by my strong house – safe and certain.

I never imagined a future in which my child was born with the rarest of diseases. I never imagined a future in which my son died.

“God!” I plead, “I am heartbroken and afraid. I might not have created this storm, but I still feel like it is shaking my house. It is breaking windows and flooding the rooms. What the hell is going on?”

If I look honestly at the infrastructure of my life, I can see that even this most treacherous of hurricanes did not destroy it. My marriage is strong and beautiful, my living son is full of joy and peace, and I am surrounded by goodness and mercy.

But when I look inward, I see a lot of broken pieces. The cornerstone is still there; I still believe that God is love and I still have faith in the loving sacrifice of God’s son.   The rest of my beliefs look to me like Greek ruins – building blocks scattered on the ground, next to the shell of what they were.

I must decide now: which bricks still have integrity? Which ones will I pick up again and use to build my house? Which ones will I deem unstable and choose to destroy?

As I sort through my heart, brick my brick, I ask myself, what will I teach Bryson? What do I want him to be standing on when storms come? He will live the rest of his life having personally experienced a tragic and undeserved loss. What will he think when his Sunday school teacher sings that song?

I could not keep the storm from coming and I could not escape its force. I am struggling with this, but I am still standing, and I will rebuild.

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