As I drove to a meeting, I saw a cardboard box in the middle of the road, tipped on its side. Next to the box was a cat. I slowed and drove carefully around the box. As I did, the cat fled inside of it. My heart clinched. That box, to the cat, appeared to offer protection. But I could see the reality. Hiding in that box put the cat in great danger and offered no protection at all. It was a sham, that box. A sham the cat believed in.

How often, when things go bad, when we’re stuck in the middle of a dangerous situation, a time of pain, do we seek shelter in a “cardboard box:” a belief that we should “gut it out,” or a substance or habit that numbs the pain. Maybe we throw ourselves into work, or into being the best Christian we can. We’ve hidden in a box of our own making. Eventually, we might realize that, in facing this daunting, dangerous situation, we have chosen a sham of a shelter.

God promises that when we build our lives on his love, we’ll never be shaken. Jesus describes facing a hurricane down with such a foundation: Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. Matthew 7:25

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