Thursday, March 26
Read Matthew 7:24-27
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. (v 25)
I have been hearing about the importance of a good foundation for a house my entire life. (Sorry, Dad!) But the impact of a solid foundation doesn’t sink in fully until the day you come home from work and find that your husband has what you thought was a perfectly good house up on jacks. As it turns out, the Pacific Northwest is damp and rim joists can rot — who knew? When you’ve just bought a new-to-you house, you want to paint and decorate — the foundation feels like a distraction from the things that make a house more livable.
A lot of things can distract us from focusing on how critical it is to reinforce our foundation. In the last year, there have been protests here and abroad, new conflicts in the Middle East and political change. (Regardless of where you fall on the political spectrum, something about last November’s results probably disappointed you.) In the face of all of that rain, wind, flood and change, it’s easy to quit paying attention to the foundation of our relationship with God.
A friend from high school, Charity Sandstrom, is the minister at the Emporia Friends Church. The morning after the election, she posted this on Facebook:
Votes are all tallied, whether your candidates won or lost, now is the time to pray. Pray for wisdom in governing, for resistance to selfish gain, for a desire to serve their constituents well. For those of us who are Christians, we are called to participate in our governmental systems, but we are not to find our hope, joy, and victory through them.
Charity’s words were a stark reminder that I was focusing on the wrong things and that, frankly, I knew better. Matthew 7 gives us explicit instructions: The way to build our house on rock is to put God’s commandments into practice. Our job is to reinforce our foundations every day by being God’s hands on earth, rather than being distracted by the chaos around us. The key word there is practice.
Sometimes, God’s word is vague. (Faith like a grain of mustard seed can move a mulberry tree. But why would it want to?) Sometimes, it is more straightforward but equally hard to implement. (Take the log out of your eye before trying to take the speck out of your brother’s.)
Only by being willing to refocus and practice serving God and each other do we reinforce our foundation and make good and lasting change in the world. Everything else is a distraction.
Amy Pletcher Borgmeyer
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