I’ve always known that a solid foundation is important, but until recently I had not seen firsthand the disastrous effects of not having one. I recently had the opportunity to go on an unexpected adventure that led to a tour of a massive, uninhabited log home. Set on the edge of a lush, grassy meadow, with hillsides sloping up to snowy mountains behind, the expansive building fit beautifully into the landscape.
The large reception room’s wood floors had a glossy sheen, and the solid wood doors complimented the huge log walls. But something wasn’t right. We descended the split log staircase into the basement, where an intricate web of copper pipes and fittings added to the overall impression of costly outfitting. That’s where some of the problems came into view. As we got a better look at the underside of the house, it became evident that the foundation was nowhere near sufficient for the structure it was intended to support. Beams sagged, scrawny posts held up a wide deck, providing less than half of the needed support.
As we explored the rest of the house, huge rooms pleased the eye, but the other senses betrayed some hidden – and some not-so-hidden – flaws. There wasn’t a level floor in the place, and their angles tempted one to toss a ball to the floor to see which way it would roll; beams over 1 foot in diameter stood majestically in the great room, appearing to support the upper loft…but had hardly anything below to brace them.
As I looked over the house, and listened to the report that it had been pronounced in danger of “imminent collapse” by an engineer, I was struck by the profound spiritual analogy it presented. The building itself (completed only 8 years ago) appeared beautiful and stately – but it may as well have been rotten to the core. With such a poor foundation, the whole structure was compromised. All of the costly, quality details added later (like the exquisite kitchen fixtures and lavish bed frames) could not make up for the faulty workmanship done at the beginning. It grieved me to see such waste – what could have been a lovely, gracious building – if it had been properly founded – was now not only sitting empty, but posing a potential hazard to any who chose to spend extended time within its walls!
This situation bears a strong resemblance to the words of Jesus from the gospel of Luke:
“Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them, I will show you whom he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who has heard and has not acted accordingly, is like a man who built a house on the ground without any foundation; and the torrent burst against it and immediately it collapsed, and the ruin of that house was great.”
I am challenged to ask myself: which one am I? Am I hearing and acting on the words of the Lord in Scripture, laying a deep and solid foundation for my life? Or am I like the man with no foundation, or the house with beautiful architecture and lavish design, but finding myself in danger of “imminent collapse” and ruin? I have put my hope and trust in Christ – may I not stop there and fail to act on the words of the Lord.
What about you? What is the condition of your foundation?
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