Everyone then who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell – and great was its fall!
The science nerd in me goes directly to the basics of this passage by asking “what’s the difference between rock and sand?” hmmmm – simplistically, rock is sand that has solidified under pressure and sand is rock that has been broken down by that same force. Add some heat and the rock gets even stronger. When you look at it in this light, rock is solid and sand is broken.
Jesus isn’t so much talking about housing foundations as he is the foundation for our faith. In Matthew’s gospel, this passage is the grand finale of the Sermon on the Mount – as a carpenter’s son, he could certainly talk houses, but as the son of God, he’s getting a bit more personal. Build your faith in rock – let the pressure (and heat) of doing what’s right make you solid instead of making you crumble.
When I reflect on my own faith, it has certainly involved more than a few occasions where my rock crumbles under pressure instead of strengthens. If I dissected my “faith rock” I’d find lots of spackle, super glue, duct tape and scar tissue. I think that rock has become more solid with each crack that gets mended under pressure and heat. I’ve tried to retrieve and rebound those fractures that I need and let crumble the grains of weakness, pride, selfishness and stupidity.
My rock is far from perfect and must look like an almighty train wreck – but it’s MY rock and it’s all I have to either keep repairing or let crumble into sand. I keep choosing the duct tape and bailing wire approach, hoping to hold it together. And as I get older, I’m going for the glitter glue.
Prayer – Lord, guide me in your ways to help my faith become more solid under pressure.