Almost lured to sleep atop his air mattress by the gentle rhythmic incoming tide, my dad didn’t see it coming. BAM! A random large wave pelted him downward into the sand before catapulting him onto the shore. That was the end of an otherwise relaxing vacation, and the beginning of his back pain.
Hopefully you haven’t been literally pelted by a random wave, or regular wave for that matter! But all of us experience setbacks and storms in life at one time or another. Like that wave, an unexpected storm barges in with surging winds of adversity, stripping everything bare, exposing our foundation.
All through the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus presented Himself as both the final authority and fulfiller of the Law. He finishes His sermon with not only a call to heed His message, but also to find one’s security in Him (1 Corinthians 3:11).
Jesus tells a story about two men: one who builds his house upon a rock and another who builds his house upon sand. I’m sure you know which house weathers the storm. Jesus calls this builder wise. But the house built on the sand collapses during the storm, and the builder is dubbed foolish.
A good foundation is obvious, but its importance can’t be overemphasized. The strength of a building lies in its foundation. The main purpose of the foundation is to hold the structure above it and keep it upright.
In this parable, Jesus gives us some wise words about the foundation of our lives: “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” (Matthew 7:24-27)
Our life foundation is crucial. We will face some storms in this life, and may even need to rebuild. Sometimes the pressure to heed the world’s advice and turn away from God’s words hits with hurricane force. At times, our own feelings bombard us inwardly to do the opposite of God’s will.
But despite these tensions, the wise person will follow God’s words as a result of trust and thankfulness. God will bless the one whose life is built upon the Rock, Jesus Christ. As we grow in trust and obedience, He will anchor our “house” in Him so that we are able to weather the storms. It is God who grows our hope and faith. The wise person is like the tree planted by the riverside, whose leaf does not wither (Psalm 1:1–3).