In Matthew 7:24-27 Jesus gave one of His most well known parables, comparing a house built upon sand to another built upon a rock. I want you to picture in your mind those two identical houses with the only difference being their foundation.
On a bright sunny day without a cloud in sight and no wind to speak of, you probably wouldn't be able to discern any difference between the two. They would both be beautiful homes to live in, to raise a family in, to rest in. Maybe the one built upon sand would be even nicer with it's proximity to the beach!
It wouldn't be until a storm came along that the foundation of which the house was built upon would be exposed. The storm would shift the foundation of the house built upon the sand, ripping the house apart and bringing the roof crashing down leaving it look like a Kansas trailer park after a tornado ripped through it.
But other house built upon the solid, immovable foundation of rock, experiencing the same storm, would be left standing. Sure the windows would rattle, the ground might shake and some pictures might fall off the wall. But the home would remain standing, fully intact with the damage, if any, being only superficial.
Jesus gave this parable at the end of what we refer to as the Sermon on the Mount. It was a message that left His audience amazed because His teaching had something that the teachers of the Law were lacking - life and power. But what does it mean for you and I today?
Ask a Christian who they trust in, whom they depend upon, whom they look to for provision and they will likely immediately reply, "Why Jesus of course! For we sing wonderful songs proclaiming Him as our all in all. Our prayers state that He is the one we need, our answer to all our problems. And we have lists of verses proclaiming that He is the one we turn to in our time of need."
Yet do our actions, the way we live, do they always line up with what we say? How can we know if our foundation is in fact Jesus and not something else? How can our faith in Him be tested and proven?
I believe it is the storms in life that Father uses to expose to us whom and what we trust in. Not to condemn us when we fail the test, but so that we would either learn to trust Him more or be encouraged in the times that we do. (see James 1:12)
There is little doubt that the owner of the house that was built upon the sand was confident that his foundation was solid. And on the bright sunny days it would appear that he was right. It wasn't until the storm began to blow that the strength of the foundation, or the lack thereof, was exposed.
In a similar way, we may speak words that exhibit that our foundation is in Jesus, but what happens when life is not so sunny? If the our 'house' collapses around us - the times we lose hope, are filled with fear and anxiety and struggle to regain 'control' in our lives - then our Father has blessed us by revealing that we need to continue to grow in our trust of Him in this area. Again, failure of this test is not intended to shame or condemn, but to grow. Father is foremost concerned with our heart and whom it is turned towards.
And please do not think that a house built upon Jesus will always be quiet inside even when the storm is raging outside. Some storms in life are of the hurricane 5 level with 100mph winds which will shake you to the core. The absence of the a struggle is not the mark of success. For if you are not shaken in the storm you are likely not in a storm.
But while we may be shaken at times during the pressures of life - and our faith in Him is challenged - but we are trusting Jesus in the moment, we do not lose hope. We continue to see Jesus in the storm with us, with His hand held out, His face shining, encouraging us to continue walking with Him.
In Christ who is our Life,