“And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock.”Matthew 7:25
Along its sandy beaches and ocean view cliff sides, Cape Shoalwater, Washington has a problem: the land along the sea has been eroding an average of 100 feet every year for more than a century. Because of this, it has earned the nickname Washaway Beach. In 2010, windstorms began to threaten homes that had been there for decades. Rather than the typical 100 feet of land, the erosion swept away miles of coast. Homes that once had been a fifteen-minute walk from the shore were now toppling into the sea.
In Matthew 7, Jesus tells us of two men: one who built his house on rock and the other on sand. These two men probably built homes they intended to last. Yet, when storms came, the house built on rock stood firm, but the house built on sand was destroyed.
In the same way, the person who listens to and obeys the teachings of Jesus will be like a wise man who builds his house on the rock. When storms come, his house will not fall. But the one who ignores Christ’s teachings will be like a foolish man who builds his house on the sand. When storms come, his house will fall. Jesus is urging His listeners to build their houses, their lives, on His teaching. With Him as their foundation, they will be able to remain firm.
God, however, remains the same forever. “Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken” says the Lord in Isaiah 54:10. God is the only foundation that provides perfect stability. He alone remains firm and solid under our feet. Architects know the tallest buildings always have the deepest foundations. The deeper our foundation in Christ, the stronger we are.
It is important to note that, although God and His teaching are trustworthy and unmoving beneath our feet, it does not mean that we will never find our houses shaken. Jesus doesn’t say “if the rain came down,” “if the streams rose,” and “if the winds blew and beat against the house.” He says “when.”
Trials and troubles are going to come no matter what. We are going to experience heartbreak, struggle, disappointment, confusion, doubt, sorrow, and grief. We may even feel as though we are utterly alone. Yet He is our firm and unmovable foundation. No matter what, no matter how we may feel, we can trust that God is always there.
When the storms of life rage, He will reach out His hand to save us from drowning (Matthew 14:25-33). He will command the winds to cease and the waves to be calm (Matthew 8:23-27, Mark 4:35-41, Luke 8:22-25, and John 6:16-21). To each one of us, God’s promise remains unchanged: “I will never leave you nor forsake you…Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1: 5, 9).
If we build our lives on His teachings and trust in His promises, we will not be destroyed but will remain safe upon the Rock. With God as our firm foundation, the storms of life cannot defeat us.