Title: The (Colonial) House Built On The Rock
Date: August 31, 2021
As I was reading these few verses this morning, they reminded me about something that happened in our family this past year.
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on a 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.”
I remember reading this for the first time. I literally took the words to heart. Nothing would ever destroy my home and it would never fall! Back then California was shaking with large earthquakes quite frequently, so these words were quite comforting to me. However, as years passed I understood the passage’s true meaning and what it represented. Life may knock us off our feet, but with God we can always get back up. The rock on which we stand may always be beneath us, however the winds and storms of life rise up, and what are we left with? Do we fall with a great crash? Does despair win? Or do we stand firm, unmovable, unshakable? Emotions come and go, but does our faith and hope remain?
This past year our family was hit with one of those storms……literally! My dear mother-in-law is a woman who has endured much in her life. Probably one of the most difficult times was losing her sweet husband a few years ago….her high school sweetheart. However, she is a woman who has loved the Lord her God faithfully throughout her lifetime and is known to be strong and resilient.
It was last October on her 80th birthday when we received a completely unexpected call.
The day had begun like any other. She was at her home visiting with her granddaughter and two great grandchildren. When we say things can happen in the blink of an eye….well that’s exactly what occurred. Before I continue, let me give you a little history about my mother-in-law and her home.
If I were to have you imagine a most picturesque setting, you would see an almost 100-year-old tall white colonial house with windows encased in black shutters. This lovely home had green grass and massive statuesque oak trees. The beautiful front porch wrapped around white columns and boasted an inviting rocking chair. Flower pots always welcomed visitors with red geraniums, and there was an all-American feel as our stars and stripes waved to those who passed by.
The interior still proudly showed off its original bones, and throughout the years it was impeccably kept and preserved. I actually entered that home for the very first time at the age of fifteen. Life was definitely lived and loved there, but in a blink of an eye it was destroyed.
Here in California, we do not see storms coming through and leaving behind devastation, so to say this was a freak accident is an understatement! That particular morning the winds picked up and raged through the area. What happened next was evidence that my mother-in-law’s life was never built on sand, but on firm and solid rock, the only rock…. Jesus Christ, her Lord and Savior!
As sudden gusts of wind picked up, my mother-in-law and her grandson were at the window in utter disbelief at the display of weather they were witnessing. As they sat at the table at the back of her home, with my niece in the kitchen, the unimaginable happened! One of the oldest and largest oak trees which stood in her front yard found itself suddenly in a fight to resist the strong winds. It lost its battle and came crashing down onto the home, right through the living room/ dining room and bedrooms! The few areas that remained unaffected miraculously were the two rooms in which the three of them found themselves in, something for which we will be eternally grateful.
They later compared the incident to a jet airplane crashing into the home. At this point, it’s been almost one year with my mother-in-law’s birthday once again approaching. Unfortunately, she is not back in the home she so loves because tragically it was condemned. Plans are in the making for the rebuild, and we have been busy imagining countless more memories to be made, waiting for life to once again resume in a home that was never built on sand!
My mother-in-law‘s faith in her God not only protected her and her guests from physical harm, but it has provided endless strength, patience and an opportunity for all of us to understand that life doesn’t shelter us from all circumstances, however God shelters our hearts from them. He’s made a way for my mother-in-law to cope. He’s come alongside her and has held her hand the entire way. And I know the story is not yet over, but I imagine when it’s all behind us, when that beautiful colonial home stands tall once again…when the rooms are filled once again with love, joy and the hustle and bustle of family, a day will come when we will forget the storm that once destroyed it. But we will never forget her ROCK on which it stood!
2 Samuel 22:32
For who is God, but the Lord? And who is a rock, except our God?
Indeed their rock is not like our rock, even our enemies themselves judge this.
On God my salvation and my glory rest, the rock of my strength; my refuge is in God.
The storms of life may be swift, unexpected and overwhelming. They can beat us up and tear us down. However, we are promised that if we have a sure foundation nothing can separate us from His love and faithfulness. We must always choose to daily build our infrastructure, to pour the word of God into our spirits. It’s our substance, our strength and might. It’s our hope in our ever-present troubles. The question is… Is our ENTIRE home built on the rock? Or just partially?
Let’s not take a chance that there are cracks in our foundation, so that we can face this world and life completely prepared for what’s up ahead. I don’t know about you, but I desperately need all the help I can get! Lord please help us to identify where we need to strengthen our foundation. What areas do we need to reinforce? Lord lead us to the rock that is higher than ourselves. For when those storms rage we pray and aspire to be like my dear mother-in-law and the representation of that beautiful white colonial home…. knocked down but rebuilt stronger and better than before. Life will continue on, and God once again will prove himself to be our Rock. Now and forever more!
Delighting in safe pasture,