Castles in the Sand

Matthew 7:24 – 27 “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. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

I love the simple word pictures that Jesus used, don’t you? That is why He was such a fabulous communicator. He didn’t bog people down with fancy rhetoric. He spoke in terms that people could understand. When I close my eyes and think back to my earliest memories, I can remember sitting on a beach. I played for what seemed like hours, building castles in the sand, then watching the waves come and carry them away. I would imagine that Jesus’ audience, people who lived near the sea, had the same memories.

Everyone knows not to build a house on the sand. Those who do have beach homes usually build them high on stilts, to keep the waves from knocking them over. Even then, those houses are vulnerable to strong winds and storms. The sand beneath them will shift, and the houses can easily come crashing down. Yet, some people do it anyway.

But if a person builds that same house on a foundation of stone, it will be less vulnerable to storms. The winds may blow, the waves may crash . . . but the house will stand. The stone beneath it will not shift.

I think it’s interesting that the difference is not in the actual house, but rather, in where the house is built. The stone . . . or the sand. The stone . . . obedience to God’s words. The sand . . . hearing, but not obeying. The sand builders know better, they know the truth, yet they choose to do whatever they want. They know there is a better way, but they want that house on the sand. They want to do as they please, instead of heeding God’s wisdom. Therefore, they don’t have the solid foundation that is needed to withstand the storms of life.

And trust me. The storms will come.

Those who choose to build their lives on obedience to God don’t need to fear. Oh, the winds will blow. The waves will crash and bang. But through it all, their foundation will hold. They will stand.

Remember, friends, those two houses may have the exact same floor plans. They may have the same paint colors, the same furniture. From the outside, they may look identical. The difference is in the foundation.

In the same way, we may look the same on the outside. We may go to church. We may appear to have it all together. But we can’t see into each others’ hearts, now can we? Only God can do that. The evidence of our foundation will be made known when the storms of life beat against us. The decisions we make when the weather is sunny and clear, the choices to obey God or not will be obvious when the storms come. Our lives will either stand strong, or they will come crashing down around us.

Brick by brick, choice by choice, I want to obey God. I choose to build my life on the only foundation which will hold. And when the storms come, I will curl up safe and sound in my Father’s rock-solid arms.

Let the winds blow. I’ll be fine.

Dear Father, Thank You for Your wisdom. I want to obey You, and build my life on Your Word.


14 Responses to Castles in the Sand

  1. November 17, 2008 #

    Yes, Renae, you are exactly right. My sister-in-law and I had a conversation after my father passed away. He was 90, and my parents had just celebrated 50 years together. This was unexpected, despite his age, and I flew to Canada to stay with my mom for a week. I cannot imagine a more difficult time, and yet as I watched my mother, she was able to sleep well at night, she was was able to visit with her many friends and family, and she was able to smile joyfully through her tears. In our conversation, Paula said to me, “She has done her thinking.” And she was right. My mother had done her thinking, and she had built her house on the rock. The storm she had feared came, but her house never shook. How wonderful that is!

    (My mother would be embarrassed to know how many times I talk about her on here!)

  2. November 17, 2008 #

    Hi Jeanette! Yes, your mother is an amazing woman with a bigger-than-life testimony. I’m so glad you share bits of her life with the rest of us. She is truly an inspiration!

  3. November 17, 2008 #

    Jeanette, thank you for that beautiful glimpse of your mother. I want to be like her – and I’ll bet you already are.

    And you, Miss Renae, have the amazing ability and talent to paint those beautiful word pictures just like Jesus! You make every scripture so easy to understand and this ability makes one want to heed the Word. Thank you and yes, “they will be led by a child”.. Love ya’.

  4. November 17, 2008 #

    Thanks, Mom. Love you, too.

  5. November 17, 2008 #

    Thanks, you two, for appreciating my mom with me. I have such a long way still to go to be like her though, SueNell.

    I have to agree with your mom about your amazing ability and talent, Renae. She is not just being your mom when she says that! I think it is so wonderful that you have a Godly mom, too!

    (PS: You better take that “child” thing while you can still get it!)

  6. November 17, 2008 #

    Ha Ha! Thanks, Jeanette! Yes, I am so grateful to have the parents I have. They are both wonderful, loving, generous, godly people.

    As for the child thing, I think I was in my 30’s before they started offering me coffee instead of hot cocoa. Now that I’m 40, I love that at least SOMEBODY thinks I’m still young! 😉

  7. November 17, 2008 #

    Hello, Sweetness. I just want you to know how glad and grateful i am that you have spent your life building on the rock. It makes me proud of you, and you set a glowing example for our family. I love you so much. Thanks for your good word! God is truly using you. I am so happy to be your hubby.

  8. November 17, 2008 #

    Wow! Again? I don’t know what I’m gonna do with all this attention. (blush.) (fluttering eyelashes.)

    I love you too, Sweetheart.

  9. November 17, 2008 #

    Renae, Great post! This is one of the best articles I’ve read on this topic. You’ve done an excellent job. I remember reading in one of my old devotionals that God’s commands are the bricks to build that house; the mortar is our obedience and, without it, the bricks lie jumbled on the ground. I’m so glad your house is mortar-tight and built on the Rock! Blessings to you…Lynn

  10. November 17, 2008 #

    Thanks, Lynn. Aren’t you glad God gave us all we need to have that solid foundation?

  11. November 17, 2008 #

    Safe in our Father’s rock-solid arms… You’re right, Renae — there’s no better place to be!

  12. November 17, 2008 #

    Thanks, Cheryl.

  13. November 17, 2008 #

    My kids used to like singing this one:

  14. November 17, 2008 #

    Mine too, Jackie! I sang that when I was a little girl, as well. Thanks for reminding us . . .

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