Author: Thomas White | Student at LivingEd-Charlotte
“Things will happen that can shock you to your foundation, and depending on what your foundation is, [that] is going to determine how you come through that particular trial.”Mr. Gerald Weston, Presiding Evangelist | Student Assembly: May 9, 2019
I never planned to be in the Living Church of God. I never planned to sever ties with the organization I was previously involved with, and never planned to be set adrift in a new Church culture, knowing just few enough people to feel lost at the beginning. I did plan to dance with my mom at my—planned—future wedding, and definitely planned to go to her for advice while raising my—planned—future children.
But as Mr. Weston reminded us in the final assembly of Living Education’s inaugural year, life doesn’t go as planned. Not for me, and not for anyone. We all lose things we thought or desperately hoped we would always have, and we are all, at every moment, just one loss away from what we perceive as the ultimate test of our faith.
“Those who are founded on Christ’s teachings are going to be as one who is on a rock foundation. Yes, the waves will come, the wind will blow, even the rock beneath your feet may shake, but if you are solidly attached to it, you’ll come through.”
Our lives are built on a lot more than we might realize, unless we’ve really stopped to think about it. They’re built on the relationships we have with the people with whom we are the closest, on what we do every day to earn an income, on how our bodies continue to function, even on what we spend our leisure time doing.
It is almost like we’re each standing on a chair, occasionally jumping up and down, and all the while hoping that the many, many legs of the chair won’t break. But a lot of them will. As we lose jobs, friends, family members, self-perceptions, our health, places where we felt safe, the chair legs of our lives break.
So we can thank God for the fact that, as Mr. Weston reminded us, we only need three.
“You need to build that strong foundation on a personal basis: Does God exist, is the Bible His word, and where is He working? And if you know the answers to those three questions, and you can prove them to yourself… when the storms come, you will be able to stand.”
As it turns out, our chairs are more like three-leg stools. Even as we lose more, and more, and more parts of ourselves—pieces of our foundation—if as there are three specific legs that always remain in place, the chair won’t fall, and we will remain upright. If we know beyond doubt that God exists, know that the Bible is His inspired and infallible word, and know where He is working through His Church, we can put all of life’s weight on those three legs, and know that we won’t fall.
Our adversary will try to break those three legs, and he’ll usually do so by breaking other legs near them. As Mr. Weston said, we have to constantly guard them with our lives, because they are the true support for our lives. We may be only one loss away from the ultimate test of our faith, but if those three pillars remain strong, it’s not a test we have to fear. It’s just another one we will pass.
Thomas White was one of the onsite Living Education students for the 2018-2019 semesters. He also has a Bachelor’s Degree in English. Thomas currently works as an Editorial Assistant for the Living Church of God. According to his wife, he eats pizza in entirely the wrong way.