Sandcastles in a Storm

from Lynda Lindsey

Jesus speaking: “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. Then 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

Little children, building sandcastles at the beach, busily run to and from the sea, bringing countless pails of water to fill the moat. Flags of seagrass sit atop turrets. Seashells line a walkway leading to a bridge. Squeals of delight erupt from the children as the waves roll in, crumbling the entire structure. Then they begin again, happily rebuilding the ruined castle.

There’s a particular fierceness about a storm battering against a beach house. The sea foams and froths, waves arch and build, rain pelts, rattling against the windows, and the wind howls like a haunted soul. But a well built house, one on a solid foundation, can withstand the storm. Children building sandcastles over and over again make loving memories of beach vacations, but it’s a poor spiritual practice. 

How to be counted wise spiritually? Build your life on the eternally solid foundation of Jesus Christ and put into practice Jesus’ teachings. The discipline of continually practicing obedience keeps us steady in the storms that blow. And storms will blow. A passionate commitment to discipleship and growth helps us not just hear Jesus’ words but put them into practice. Discipleship involves commitment to a lifestyle of repentance and confession of sin, as well as joyfully accepting and walking in restoration and pardon. Jesus teaches us everything we need for abundant life. He gives us the Holy Spirit, empowering us to live obediently. Be spiritually diligent; build upon the only lasting foundation, Jesus Christ, and continually practice obedience. It’s the only way of eternal security and joy!