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What Cannot Be Shaken

A few years ago I returned to our old home place, deep in the piney woods of East Texas. I can’t remember living there, but I lived there when I was just a baby. And I had to get directions out to those woods, down a little sandy road and had to stop and walk up a trail and finally was able to identify the place by a great big oak tree that my dad had planted before I was born. That is the only evidence that we were ever there. The fence was gone, the barn was gone, the house was gone—for all practical purposes it was as though we had never ever been there. Just a tree.

A few days later I went to the first house I can remember living in. Nothing but a board here and there. On the ground a piece of tin. That’s all. Then I went to a house, or what had been a house, nearby. I could remember that house better. I had grown up there in the first five or six years of my life. But it was a sawmill town and when the sawmill closed down, they sold all the houses and moved every one of them away. I couldn’t even find the sandy road that used to run in front of our house. It has grown up in pine trees and all the houses had been moved. Not a trace of one of those first three homes that I lived in.

We drove through Waco the other day. And the first apartment that Cathy and I lived in was located right in the middle of what is now I-35. I mean the yellow stripe came right through our bed. No trace that we’ve ever been there. Went on down the road 30 miles to Troy, the first church I pastored full-time and there was a little frame parsonage, first parsonage we lived in. It has been moved off and there is nothing but a vacant lot there. No house at all. That’s five out of five.

We went to San Marcos and we went to Taylor. And in Taylor the parsonage was right next door to the church. Would you believe that they have sold that parsonage and moved it off and turned our yard into a parking lot? That’s six out of six. I was afraid to come home last night. I get to thinking that I ought to live in a mobile home sometimes.

But you know I keep reminding myself that though those earthly homes pass away, can’t even be found any more, there is a home that permanent. All the years of time will not cause it to decay or to fall. Jesus told me about it: “Listen, in my father’s house there is plenty of room for you. I’m going to make everything ready and I will come again to receive you unto myself because I want you to be—where I am.” And my hope is built on that permanent abiding dwelling. Let every house I’ve ever lived in or will ever live in vanish away and my heavenly home is still sure. That’s one thing that can’t be shaken.

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Paul W. Powell - www.PaulPowellLibrary.com

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