It was their abiding place. The place where they lived, what they called home, their “little abode,” was The Champlain Towers in Surfside, Florida. Despite perhaps subtle warning signs and sounds of potential disaster, the tenants went to bed in their condos on a Wednesday night assuming they would all rest, safe and secure. However, merely moments later, at 1:30AM it suddenly collapsed, leaving only a massive mountain of twisted devastation and totally destroyed lives. All were gone in 10 seconds; incredible and shocking to those of us left behind.

Such graphic tragedy is cause for numerous questions. There are the obvious how’s, why’s, and what’s to answer, so that this would never happen again. However the troubling image that comes to our minds also serves as a sobering metaphor for further serious questions about our own lives:

  • Why am I so uneasy?
  • How can I truly rest?
  • Where do I abide that is safe & secure?
  • What is really my “home”?
  • Does my abiding place have a firm foundation?

Most of us have experienced our own kind of tragedies. where “Life,” as we have known it, suddenly comes crashing down. Tragedies such as:

  • Car accident with major bodily injuries
  • Fire or flood in the house
  • Domestic violence
  • Separation or divorce
  • Financial ruin
  • Cancer or an other life-threatening illness
  • Hit from an IED or land mine while serving in the military
  • Sudden stroke or heart attack
  • Loss or death of a loved one
  • Other

For me it was the dreaded diagnosis of PML. In merely months I went from being in good physical shape, working out 3x/week, jogging, hiking, biking, playing with my grandchildren all with fulness of Life ahead, to losing most body function capabilities and preparing to die. Certainly this was not what I had planned! Still, like most tragedies it actually happened. And, it happened unexpectedly. However, by the grace of God I didn’t die. I live, although disabled, with that same grace today.

This too caused me to ponder deeper questions. When all of Life seemed to fall apart, what was I left with? Had I been building my expectations, dreams and hopes on “shifting sands?” Or, had everything been built on a foundation that was firm and rock-solid? This mattered to me; really mattered.

My latest tragedy has shown me that I live in the right location. With all around me that is so unsettling, upsetting, and even unnerving, be it in the daily news or in my daily activity, it is assuring to know that I can rest secure when my “home,” my Abiding Place, is in the Vine Jesus Christ. It is there that I truly call “home.”

Where is your Abiding Place?

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
John 15:4-5 ESV