Building on the Rock
A few months ago a friend reintroduced my daughter and I to one of my favorite shows growing up, “Little House on the Prairie.” Actually, the conversation centered on Albert… the girls thought it hilarious when I told them I had such a crush on him.
I was unprepared for the wave of emotion that flooded my soul as we watched and for the tears that began to flow as I reflected on the timeless Biblical truths and values that wove their way in and through the lives of the Ingalls family. Life was so hard for them, and together they worked so hard simply to live. Strangely, though, despite the many ‘storms’ they experienced – their life threatening travels, wolves, Indians, fires, lack of food, etc. etc., I found myself longing for that life.
As I thought longer about all of this, I realized that this longing doesn’t stem only, as I initially thought, from my desire for a simpler life. It comes from a deep longing for a culture that carries on those timeless values and truths, and from my fears of the very real dangers in today’s world that threaten not just our personal safety, but the wellness and wholeness of individuals and families. Life is hard today, just as it was hard for the Ingalls family. It’s a different kind of hard. I admit that at times I feel overwhelmed by the struggles of this life and want to just run or hide. Yet, as Chuck Swindoll said so well in a recent podcast, “Storms and life go together. There is no place on earth where any of us can be free-completely free-of tension or pressure, trouble or pain. Escaping such is only a dream…a fantasy.”
God always meets me in my fears when I let Him. Over the last few months, through various teachings on Matthew 7, a parable about building our lives on the rock, He has been reinforcing in my heart and mind principles that allow me to stand firm and to live with confidence right where God has placed me, no matter what happens in life. He has been teaching me the secret to not running from but going through life and it’s storms.
Matthew 7:24-27 (NLT)
Building on a Solid Foundation
24 “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. 25 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. 26 But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. 27 When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.”
I am going to do my best to quote Charles Stanley from his powerful 2 part sermon entitled, “The Simple Secret of an Unsinkable Life”. I pray that his words impact you in a meaningful and powerful way.
“A close look at this story and at Jesus’ commentary uncovers oft-overlooked but relevant truth for our lives. Notice the identical elements between the two sides of this story. Both of the main characters in the story are builders. In fact, they are even building the same thing, a house. However, Jesus had more in mind here than giving advice on proper building codes. The houses and the builders’ techniques are images of our lives and the approaches we take as we “build” them. So what we have here is not literal houses and literal rock and sand but the building of a philosophy of life. It has to do with the establishment of values and making decisions that relate to time and eternity. Don’t miss that.
Second, I notice there is a life situation that is identical for both. Both experience a storm…Both say the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and burst against that house. Now, obviously, Jesus is not telling a story about how to avoid bad weather…or how to miss life’s storms. Neither man misses the storm. On the contrary, he is telling us not how we can find a safe setting but (that) life isn’t safe. There are storms and they are inevitable. He’s not talking to fathers about how to find a nonthreatening climate where you can build a place that would be easy for your family to live.
There are also contrasts in this story…Builder number one is different from builder number two. Builder number one has not only heard the words of Christ. He has acted. He has done something about it. Builder number one has been involved in the truth he has been hearing. Interestingly, builder number two has heard the very same thing that builder number one has heard. But the second builder simply heard the things that Christ had said. You know what exposed the reality of the builders? The storm. It will do it every time. All of us in this human race can pretty much live pretty much the same kind of life. Given the same breaks. Given the same kind of parents. Given the same kind of life situation. Take away the storms, we can pretty much rock along and make it fairly well on our own. But there is something about a storm that brings us to our knees.
The storm will come, the wind will blow, the flood will rise and it will beat upon your house. And if you haven’t a rock to stand on you will plunge, if not by death, by some awful time of discouragement and despair. You will have nothing to fall back on if you haven’t Christ.”
Charles Stanley gives two underlying life principles from this story:
- If you are just hearing the truth you are not preparing yourselves for life’s storms. It was the man who acted upon them who was blessed with a rock beneath him.
- If your foundation is sure, no storm will cause your life to collapse. It may jolt you. There may be a whole lot of shaking going on. You may feel the blows. You may get wet in the rain. But your house will stand.
Charles Stanley challenged me by asking this question: “As you embrace values and make decisions that have implications for eternity, which approach will you follow? Will you build on rock, or will you build on sand?”
I want to build on the rock of Jesus Christ.
On the Rock Wellness became the name and foundation for this ministry over a year ago. This blog and web site have been a long time coming. And, admittedly, I have procrastinated. But the Lord has also convicted me that if I wait until my house is fully built to begin (that’s the perfectionist in me), I will never begin. So here I begin, in all of my imperfection, digging down deep and laying the foundation for my life and for the lives of my children, on the rock, which is Jesus Christ, as I hear his words and put them into practice (Luke 6: 47-48) I hope and pray you will join me in this decision and desire. Together let’s start building, one step at a time, one decision at a time.
Lord, as we build our lives and families with you as our foundation, show us the next thing you desire for each of us. May we walk in obedience and faith and not throw away our confidence in you as we take each step.