“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.” When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law. Matthew 7:24-29
Over the course of a number of days, I walked the beach in Brenton on Sea, South Africa. Typically, the sandy beach was flat, the only difference being that some of the sand was hard packed because of the waves continuously coming in. Closer to the cliffs, the sand was loose and grainy, easily sliding between fingers and toes. The day after the full moon and the resulting high tide, the beach landscape had completely changed. What once was a flat beach was now a beach with all of the loose sand piled up like a giant step. The power of the waves had dramatically contoured the beach.
On the cliffs surrounding the beach were a series of homes. None of them were close to the sand. All of them were set back up on the solid ground of the cliffs. While they could all experience the joys of the beach, they were far enough removed to avoid the constant shifting of the sand.
Jesus contrast of a rock or a sand foundation is intriguing. It is easy for me to say that I have chosen to build my life on the Rock of Jesus. But often when shifting changes come, when things unsettle my mind and heart, I feel like I have a sandy foundation that I am not entirely certain of. It is not that my True Foundation has gone anywhere. Jesus is there regardless of circumstance. However, I too easily believe that I can work the solution. That I can solve it without any help required. If I am honest, my own solutions to problems and circumstances rarely, if ever, work out. My fix usually contains some hidden pothole, some unknown roadblock that would keep me from living the life of confidence and certainty that I can have if I truly put my foundation on Jesus Christ. With Jesus as the sure and true foundation of my life, winds and rains, storms and tempests may rise and assail me but I am able to stand strong because I am standing on Jesus. Granted my knees may shake and knock together, but if I am holding onto His hand then I am not standing alone. He is with me.
This Advent season, doubts and fears will come. Uncertainty will raise its head wanting to assert itself. However, I choose to remind myself, that Jesus has given me His Rock as the foundation for my life. I am able to stand strong in Him.