“If your foundation is sure, no storm will cause your life to collapse. You can’t move an immovable rock.” —Charles R. Swindoll
Storms and life go together. There’s no place on earth where we can be completely free of tension and pressure, trouble or pain. Escaping such is only a dream...a fantasy.
Our need, therefore, is not to think of ways to get away from the storms but to learn the secret of going through them. This brings us to the last words Jesus spoke in His immortal Sermon on the Mount. As He drew His remarks to a close, He uses a vivid word picture of two houses built on opposite foundations. From this familiar illustration, we can learn the secret of an unsinkable life.
The elements of Jesus’ story in Matthew 7:24-29 are simple. A wise man built his house on a strong foundation, and the home withstood the storms thrashing at its walls. A foolish man built his house on a sandy foundation, and his home succumbed to the storms.
Part of what makes stories so effective as teaching tools is their ability to stick with us. But what gives the best stories staying power?
Three reasons stories stay with us.
- Because people and personalities give stories interest
- They present us with life situations that we can imagine or identify with
- They offer lingering lessons spanning the ages from which we can learn
A closer look at the story and at Jesus’ commentary uncovers relevant truth for our lives. Notice the identical elements between the two sides of this story. Both of the characters are builders building the same thing. The houses and builders’ techniques are images of our lives and the approaches we take as we “build” them. As we embrace values and make decisions with eternal implications, which approach will we mirror? Will we build on the rock or on the sand?
As you seek to make the teachings of the Sermon on the Mount a reality in your life, you need to recognize that you are a builder...and that the storm clouds are gathering in the distance, if they haven’t already arrived. With these truths in mind ask yourself, is my foundation absolutely solid? This isn’t a question about how often you attend church or how good you are compared to others. Are you completely committed to Jesus and His desire for your life? Will your “house” hold firm when the storms come?