Sunday, February 6, 2011

On the Rock

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.
Matthew 7:24-25 (NIV)

These words come from Jesus' Sermon on the Mount in which He addresses and captures many of the values that are to be characteristic of a wisely lived life. He talks about the importance of building our lives on a solid foundation.

We left Missouri during the summer of the American Midwest "Great Flood of 1993." The previous year's rainy autumn, followed by heavy winter snowfalls and persistent, repetitive storms in the late spring and early summer filled the mighty Mississippi and Missouri riverbanks to overflowing.

In places like St. Louis, river levels were nearly 20 feet above flood stage, the highest ever recorded in 228 years. While the 52-foot-high St. Louis floodwall, built to handle the volume of the 1844 flood, was able to keep the 1993 waters out with just over two feet to spare, entire towns were evacuated. Crops were damaged. Property was destroyed. Havoc resulted. And still the rains kept falling.

Just south of St. Louis levee breaks near Columbia, Illinois, flooded 47,000 acres of land, inundating neighboring towns. The released water continued to flow parallel to the Mississippi River, approaching the earthen dike that protected the historic towns of Prairie du Rocher and Fort de Chartres. To force flood waters back into the river, officials decided to break through the stronger river levee.

I doubt that I'll ever forget television coverage of the intentional break. I watched in horror as a large, white farmhouse, torn from its foundation by the force of the raging, brown waters, was toppled and swept away in an instant. The engineer's plan ultimately worked and saved the historic towns.

Jesus said that the person who obeys His Word is like "a wise man who built his house on the rock" (Matthew 7:25). If we build according to the unwavering truths of God's Word, we will not be swept away when crises hit with flood-like force. The tempests of temptation and the storms of suffering will not be able to sweep us off a solid foundation of faith and obedience.

Dear friend, adversity may come. Yet because we are anchored to the unshakable Rock, we can emerge with our character strengthened. Are you building your life on the solid foundation--Jesus Christ?

Blessings, dear friend.
Faithfully Following

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