A Solid Foundation
Written by Thomas Bass
I often feel like preparations for life parallel those of a small child building a sandcastle on the beach. After a full day of focused and careful crafting, I am always taken off guard when the first wave of high tide rapidly and unexpectedly crashes into my proud creation, dramatically altering that on which I had so diligently labored. Over the past decade, I have slowly been crafting my life into a form of my own choosing. After I graduated from grad school, my wife and I moved back to the Triangle, started new jobs, bought a house, and had our first child. However, this year my life was hit by an unexpected wave. Just five days after the birth of our second child, Lillian, our eldest son, Benjamin was diagnosed with autism. Within a moment, my life that I had been so carefully planning and constructing was instantaneously and dramatically altered.
I know life is unpredictable and often difficult, but I’m the type of person who tries to account for everything anyway. I seek to protect my castle in some hopeless belief that if I build a moat deep enough and seawalls tall enough, the transformative forces of nature will be unable to reach and alter my handiwork. However, not surprisingly my defensive measures are not always sufficient to predict and overcome the unpredictable nature of life. Is during this times that I realize the need for God to serve as strong foundation for my life and the parable of the wise and foolish builders seems all the more pertinent:
24 “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. 25 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. 26 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. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” Matthew 7:24-27 (NIV)
Following God doesn’t guarantee a life excluded from toil and tragedy. In this parable, both builders had to plan and labor to construct their homes, and both houses were exposed to the same destructive forces of nature. The sole difference between the resilient house and the demolished house is the foundation, and the same is true of our lives. God provides stability that cannot be matched by any other source. Although initially feeling like I was being washed away after first receiving the news of Benjamin’s diagnosis, time spent in prayer and the Word brought comfort in the knowledge that God is unchanging, all knowing, and completely good. Knowing this brought reassurance that God has a plan for Benjamin and for my family.
By ourselves we are only capable of building kingdoms of sand, which get eroded away by time, nature, and unforeseen events. However, the Kingdom of God is one that is eternal, impregnable, and ultimately one of eternal glory. Armed with this knowledge, we can withstand anything life throws our way, for we know “Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures throughout all generations. The Lord is faithful in all his words and kind in all his works.” Psalm 145:13
If you have a chance today, consider the life you are building. Is your foundation in God?