How solid is your foundation?
My husband and I visited our daughter and son-in-love over the Labor Day weekend in North Carolina. I love their rental house! If you asked me to draw a floor plan of my ideal home, this would be it. A spacious kitchen, a separate breakfast nook, a formal dining room, a den and a formal living room, with bedrooms down a hall and a walk-in closet in the master bedroom. The best part was a wide house-length front porch. A small deck overlooked a sloping backyard. The house foundation reaches into the side of a hill with the house half-way down the slope and a grove of trees at the bottom of the hill.
Therein lays the problem.
“I would never buy this house,” my son-in-law told me.
After seeing the shocked look on my face, he explained. “You can tell the house is shifting. When we first moved in, I saw cracks in the walls. The house is good for the year we are here, but it’s not a stable house for the long haul.”
Hurricane Florence arrived two weeks after we left and proved how true his words were. New cracks appeared in places he had painted over. The strong wind and saturated soil shifted what seemed like a stable house.
A house of cards.
It was a beautiful house, a gracious, spacious home. The interior and architecture didn’t matter. If the worst of the hurricane had passed through their area, all that beauty would have been irrelevant. The house wasn’t built on solid ground.
Jesus’ parable in Matthew 7 about the two house builders makes a lot more sense to me now. Yes, many people believe in God. Many people look like they have good lives, fulfilling lives. They seem put together. We would call them the beautiful people. They’re competent, comfortable, and content. From the world’s point of view, they seem like they are doing all right. But they aren’t. When the first wave of trouble comes, they have no foundation. They crumble, wondering what happened to make them sink so fast.
How to stand strong when the storms hit
Jesus says that life is at its best and most secure when we do what He says to do. When we structure our lives after His pattern, it is then and only that our lives will be secure and stable, on as solid ground as a house on the level or with pilings entrenched in bedrock. When the tragedies of life come, we’ll know who to trust. We won’t fall apart. We’ll be content with whatever life hands us because we are confident God is in charge.
When Marie Roberts heard her husband had brutally executed five Amish girls and then turned the gun on himself, she faced the worst life on this earth had to offer. Her faith in Christ and His ability to sustain her through anything helped her cope and survive the tsunami wave of grief and media interference. Marie and her mother-in-love, Terri had built their lives on the solid foundation of God’s Word. Marie tells in her book, One Light Still Shines, how she immersed herself in the Word of God during those difficult weeks after her husband’s murderous rampage.
Choose to do life God’s way
It’s not enough to say you believe in God, you believe in Jesus, and you go to church most Sundays. If you want your life to have any kind of foundation when the storms of hurricanes, violence, cancer, bankruptcy, divorce, or wrongful accusation hit you, the first step is to choose to do life God’s way. It’s not enough to merely hear God’s Word; we must put it into practice. Not only the parts we like, but the hard parts too:
- Sexual purity
- Telling the truth
- Avoidance of anger
- Treating others with kindness and equality
- Putting God and others first, before ourselves
- Stripping our lives of pride and selfish ambition
What does God want you to do? It’s written out in His Word.
The hymn writer, George Keith, reminded us of the place of God’s Word in facing the storms of life in his beautiful hymn, “How Firm A Foundation:”
How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
is laid for your faith in His excellent Word!
What more can He say than to you He hath said,
who unto the Savior for refuge have fled?
And the last verse reassures us of God’s faithfulness:
The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose
I will not, I will not desert to his foes;
that soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake!”
How will you make it through the harsh times of losing a loved one, your home, a job, your financial security? Start now to live life according to God’s blueprint. When the tough times come, you won’t collapse like a house of cards. Your life will hold together, as strong as a house built on a firm foundation!