How are you building on the bedrock of Christ’s words?
In Tennessee, Steven Derse has a problem with his house. “It’s an eerie creaking sound,” he said. Very spooky. But Derse does not have a ghost in his two-story brick home. No, the creaking noise is the sound of his house moving.
According to The New York Times, a severe drought affected the soil beneath his house in 2008. Slowly, the foundation began to crack and sink, pulling the house down. The next year, flooding caused the foundation to rise up, creating a noisy and destructive seesaw effect.
Derse has spent more than $10,000 to stabilize his foundation, and he expects that he will have to spend even more. “You lose your sense of security,” he said. “You love your home and then it literally turns on you.”
Foundation problems are an expensive annoyance, but they can be dangerous as well. Last month, many lives were lost when a portion of a residential building collapsed near Miami. Although cracking concrete had been seen underneath the tower, structural problems were not corrected prior to the disaster.
Jesus knew the importance of good foundations, which is why he said, “Everybody who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise builder who built a house on bedrock” (Matthew 7:24). In this case, the house stood against wind and rain, and it did not fall. But those who don’t put the words of Jesus into practice are like the fool who built on sand, resulting in a structure that fell and was “completely destroyed” (verse 27).
What’s true for houses is true for Christian life. Hearing and doing the words of Jesus create a foundation for life that won’t crack, sink down, rise up, or destroy us. This is a foundation that will never turn on us, but will support us through all kinds of adversity.
The story of the wise and foolish builders comes at the end of the Sermon on the Mount, a set of teachings that contain some of the most important words of Jesus. They include the Golden Rule, “you should treat people in the same way that you want people to treat you” (Matthew 7:12), as well as the challenge to “love your enemies and pray for those who harass you” (Matthew 5:44).
Are these difficult words to hear and put into practice? Absolutely. But they are a bedrock on which to build our lives. When we are hit by the wind and rain of adversity, whether it comes in the form of illness or conflict or financial setbacks, we can find stability and security in the words of Jesus.
Mighty God, lead me away from sinking sand and toward the solid rock of the words of Jesus. Amen.