Tuesday, March 25, 2014
And the walls came tumbling down....
My granddaughter Marisa very carefully built this pyramid out of red plastic cones. She'd done this enough times to know how fragile the structure is and how the slightest wrong move would send them tumbling. I like her feigned expression of "Yikes! I've created a pyramid taller than I am, but it could crash at any second!"
This reminds me of the examples of two builders Jesus spoke about in Matthew 7. Jesus had been teaching a large crowd of people and He told them how wise it would be if they put into practice the things He taught. He compared a man who built his house on a rock with a man who built his house on the sand. Most of us are familiar with the story and the children's song we used to sing about them. In the song, when the rains came down and the floods came up and the house on the sand went splat, we'd happily clap our hands together for sound effect and dramatic emphasis.
If you had been the man (or woman) who'd built a house on the sand, however, you'd be devastated when your house went splat and came tumbling down (I know the "tumbling down" reference is from the walls of Jericho, but it fits here too - so, we're borrowing it). Now, no doubt you'd been warned by others that building a house on the sand was unwise. Such a foundation was destined for destruction - sooner or later. But, you thought you'd take a chance -- perhaps the naysayers were wrong, perhaps you'd be an exception, or perhaps you just thought you knew best and it would all work out in the end. You just couldn't accept the Truth.
This concept of not listening to Truth reminds me of a song by Nicole Nordeman, What if You're Wrong. The first two verses talk about -- yeah, what if you're right and Jesus was just another nice guy who takes his place in history as being a really great prophet, but that's all? Then, she turns it around and the third verse is the clincher:
"But what if you're wrong?
What if there's more?
What if there's hope you never dreamed of hoping for?
What if you jump?
And close your eyes?
What if the arms that catch you, catch you by surprise?
What if He's more than enough?
What if it's love?"
The song ends with this question:
"You've been running as fast as you can
You've been looking for a place you can land for so long
But what if you're wrong?"
It's a powerful song that speaks powerful Truth. Jesus speaks of Truth in John 8:32, 35-36: "And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.... a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed."
So, what is Truth? Truth is that if you build your life -- which is represented by your house in this instance -- on the wrong foundation, like sand or like your own idea of right and wrong, then sooner or later, it's going to go splat and come tumbling down. It's a fact that your life/your house will someday come to an end. What's going to happen then?
If you listen to the voices of warning and build your life/your house on a firm foundation, one that is founded on the Truth of the Word of God and the sure Rock of Jesus' gift of life, then your life/your house will remain firm and unharmed. You will survive that final storm and be in a place where no storm will ever blast you again. Jesus said, "Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them. I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock...that house did not fall for it was founded on the rock" Matthew 7:24.
The tower of red cones Marisa built tumbled down not too long after I snapped this picture. It was no surprise, it was inevitable. A tower of red cones -- no big deal. Your life -- a very big deal indeed.