If This Old Fort Could Talk

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If This Old Fort Could Talk


This past weekend I did some more work around the outside of the house. It’s just like the inside, the work is never done and there’s always something else that needs doing. Mowing the yard is the same as sweeping or vacuuming the floor – it has to be done regularly. Trimming is the same as dusting – it has to be done frequently. One of the things in my yard that I don’t tend to regularly is a play fort. I built it for Cameron for his 5th birthday. That was 22 years ago. I used good pressure treated wood and the best bolts, screws, and nails I could find. It still holds me up to this day. But there was one place that Connor pointed out to me just last week that definitely was showing its age. The steps that lead up to the top level were not too secure or trustworthy. So, as I was trimming around the fort, I decided I needed to inspect it. I put my foot on the bottom step and crack! The step was quickly broken off the rails and on the ground. I tried the next step and crack! I determined that all the steps would give me the same result, so I quit stepping on them. I could see that the screws holding the rails of the steps to the fort itself were badly rusted and the rails themselves were quite weathered, so I decided the easiest thing was to get my ax and knock it off with the blunt end. That quickly did the trick. As I was inspecting all the pieces of wood, I determined the rails were not in good enough condition to reuse and put them in the burn pile. The steps, however, still seemed to be good. After pressure washing them, I could see that wood was still good and strong and could be used again with different rails. Ultimately, I realized the wood didn’t fail, it was the screws. Those small pieces of metal that held the boards together had done their job for 22 years. But over time, they got weaker and weaker as the rust had eaten away at the integrity of the metal. Even though the wood was still good and strong, what held those steps together was not strong anymore.


We sometimes hear people say, “I’m just falling apart.” It’s usually not serious and we know what they mean, but sometimes a person may really be struggling in their life. They may be overwhelmed with difficult things that are happening in and around them. What is holding you together? In Matthew 6:19-20, Jesus is speaking of where our true treasure should be. He says, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal.” I’m not wanting to talk about our treasures, but more about the principle of spiritual stability. That security of moth and rust not destroying our treasures in heaven is the same security that holds us together in the Lord. The things on this earth, from this world, from our enemy cannot destroy or remove us from the strong hands of God that are holding us and holding us together. There is no moth or rust that can eat away at the integrity of the Lord. As His children, He forever will be holding us, securing us, and keeping us with Him. And as we face and go through the difficulties of this life, we don’t need to trust in money, our possessions, or even ourselves to hold us together. Those earthly treasures and earthly security will fail us. We simply need to trust in our strong Savior who never leaves us or forsakes us. His strength created this world. He’s definitely strong enough and loving enough to hold us together.


I have some boards left over from another project just waiting to be used as the new rails for a new set of steps. Using a stronger design, I’ll be able to build that set where my granddaughter and maybe future grandchildren can play on it without the fear of it breaking. And then, maybe I can use the old fort to help me teach them about our great God who holds the world in His hands, also holds us and keeps us.


Bro. Paul Reed


Tuesday, May 11, 2021