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.” -- Matthew 7:24-27
Have you ever built one of those science project bridges or buildings? I remember building houses made from cards at home, popsicle stick houses made as a craft, and then the really fancy spaghetti noodle bridges made in school. Some of them were actually pretty strong! When you made something with enough triangle shapes in it, the structure was able to withstand so much more of the elements (aka siblings/friends/bull-in-a-chinashop dog) and it could handle much more weight. Now, I wouldn’t ever recommend driving a car across a spaghetti noodle bridge, but when you get into the more adult version of materials such as wood and steel, some of those structures can be ridiculously sturdy and strong. You could build the absolute strongest building, but if it is built on the wrong foundation, it won’t stand for long. A spaghetti bridge science project can be great, but if it’s built on Jell-O, the moment I put some weight on one end, it begins to bend in ways that it shouldn’t. All of a sudden the stress and tension that my soon-to-be-dinner is feeling becomes overwhelming and it breaks.
It’s similar with us. Our lives can seem to be going so well that we don’t realize that we’re missing something. So often with my life, when things are going perfect, I tend to forget to sit down and spend time reading God’s word, interacting with Him, and building on my relationship with him. I build my life around that next new video game, the work I have to accomplish, or making sure my family is properly taken care of. Okay, so these things are all important. Hobbies, work, and family are important aspects in my life, but they cannot be THE important aspect of my life. In a priority list, God should come at the very TOP of the list every time. Not work, not hobbies, not even family. I struggle with that last one because I love my wife and my boys with all of my heart. But it’s not them that died on the cross for me and it’s not them that will never fail and be the perfect support that I need. In the same way, I cannot be the top of their list because I too am human and cannot be the perfect support that they need. My job as a husband and father should be to set an example for them by making God my numero uno in all things.
Matthew 7:24-27 looks at two houses: One built on sand and one built on rock. I always imagined a giant boulder just hanging out on a beach somewhere with one person building on the rock and another building just a little ways away on the sand. This picture of mine isn’t quite accurate. The rock that Jesus speaks about here is not a visibly accessible foundation that one person was just smart enough to build on. The rock he speaks of is actually bedrock. This sort of rock is one that is more often than not hidden under the sand. So in order for the wise person to reach the rock he has to DIG. Sometimes the bedrock is partially visible above ground, but it can be as deep as hundreds of meters below the surface! Granted, no person is going to dig hundreds of meters down to build a house, but even if it is partially visible there has to be some digging and some work involved. If we want to have a strong house, a strong life, we need to choose to build on the rock. When the inevitable stress and tension of life comes our way, our house will stand firm on the rock that is Christ. Our foundation should be built on Christ and on the word of God that encourages, challenges, strengthens, and teaches us. But sometimes that involves a bit of work. Spending time with God needs to be the priority in our day. Getting to know Him and interacting with Him will solidify our life on the rock. So when our world seems to be crashing down around us, our life will stand firm on the promises that God has made us. The world may fall and life itself may threaten to come to an end, but God is faithful and true. He is unfailing and strong. He fights for us and prepares the way for us. He is perfect in all ways and His plan is good. Trust in Him and through the storm we will stand strong.