First, is your life in crisis right now?
Second: “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice. He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.” Luke 6:46-49
Third, what the heck do these two things have in common?
Well let me say that my life is not currently in crisis. It isn’t. I’m not saying it is perfect or easy but I am not in crisis. I am not in an abusive marriage anymore. I am no longer in the divorce process. I am no longer a single mama. I’m not living at my parents’ anymore because my house had a fire. Nobody in my family is sick, dying or has died. My mom survived a heart attack so we are good.
I’m simply not in crisis right now. But from what I understand, this isn’t necessarily ‘down time’. This is foundation-building time. This is the time to set yourself up successfully for when the next crisis strikes.
I love to run and get a sick thrill from doing marathons but I couldn’t just show up on race day and pull off a marathon with no training. It takes three months to build my running foundation. It is hard training day after day and week after week to set myself up to finish on race day…to finish even though my legs are cramping; to finish even though it is way too hot on race day or I’m dehydrated; to finish even though 99% of my mind and body is screaming to stop immediately. If I didn’t train, I would cave to any of those temptations and hardships.
Sometimes when it is windy or freezing Jess and I are tempted to not go out that day. But then I remember that it may very well be windy or freezing on race day. This pushes me to go out and get a shorter version of a marathon done. This builds a ‘windy day’ foundation in my body and mind.
And there is nothing exciting about training. It is the same thing over and over. No one is cheering you on…most people don’t even know you are out there somewhere running. But step after step, kilometer after kilometer, I’m building my marathon foundation.
So back to those verses. The first thing that struck me was the very first sentence. “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?”
Some want to call on Him – maybe in crisis? – but don’t want to do what He asks of them the rest of the time. I feel like this pandemic has really brought out the fact that people don’t want to be told what to do. We don’t like to submit.
These verses make me think that often I want the best of both worlds. I want to be able to call on Him in crisis for Him to rescue me, but the rest of the time I often don’t want to do what He says.
Like these verses, I want the house but not have to be diligent to get the house properly.
Later, Jesus says that the builder ‘dug down deep’…he did the hard work. Maybe sometimes hard work is simply being diligent. Every day we need to be filling ourselves up with Him. Every day we need to know Him more and know His promises and love more – because the torrent IS coming. The crisis IS coming.
Reading your Bible or memorizing verses…listening to worship songs that give you strength for the day…spending time praying. These are building our foundation. And foundations aren’t exciting. They are often under the surface and not visible to the average person. Often they are just cement. Blah. But cement, while not beautiful, is STRONG and SOLID and won’t shift. It will hold secure.
To read our Bible every day is not glamorous.
To fill our hearts with worship songs that remind us of what life is about is not always riveting.
Prayer often feels one sided or lonely.
These things are cement. They can feel blah but they are NOT blah.
While not beautiful, they make us strong and solid so we won’t shift. They help to hold us secure. Because, remember, that torrent is coming. In these verses the torrent came, but it didn’t affect the stability of the house because it was well built.
Are you well built? Are you digging down deep? Laying a foundation?
Most of the time I think we will have to just choose to put it into practice. To call ‘Lord, Lord’ AND do what He says whether we feel it or not. We have to put it into practice and trust that it will pay off.
When we were building our current house, it happened to be a spring with a crazy amount of rain. Our foundation kept getting delayed because the ground was too wet and soft. They needed to wait for the right conditions. In all of that, not once did Ted and I think, “Screw it. Let’s just go ahead with the rest of it. Build the house on the ground. We don’t need the foundation.” Never. The foundation is crucial.
Since I’m not in crisis right now, I consider these sunny days. Maybe cloudy at times, but mostly sunny. We must dig on these days. While the weather is favourable for digging. I’m sure on sunny days, as we are digging our spiritual foundation, we will mutter a few times that this is stupid or pointless.
I even think of Noah – building a silly ark on dry land without a drop of rain in sight. He must have looked like an idiot. I wonder how many times HE muttered that what he was doing was stupid or pointless while building an ark on sunny days. He HAD to think it was stupid at times. But he kept building and he kept trusting the process. He knew it would pay off eventually.
We must keep building and trust the process as well. It will pay off eventually, too. We have to keep plodding along when it feels stupid or pointless. I guess that is why it is a sacrifice.
You are committing the sunny days of your life to live a certain way in the hopes that Your God will prove strong when the torrents finally come. When crisis strikes.
How are you building your foundation today? How are you digging deep? Is it hard to do that while it feels unnecessary? Or are you in a crisis or in the midst of a torrent? Are you seeing the beauty of your foundation now? That it was worth it?
Come on. Grab a shovel with me…or your Bible, or spotify, or your prayer journal. Let’s keep digging down deep.