“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” Matthew 7:24 – 27
Back in South Australia, my wife and I continue to slowly (very slowly!) renovate and restore our old cottage. I cannot lie – it is a bit of a mess. The roof leaks, the masonry is falling down, the floors are uneven, the mice have well and truly found a comfortable winter home, the skirting boards are broken, you can put your hand through the rotted wooden back walls…and I could go on.
Our friends thought us to be crazy. They said: ‘Why didn’t you a buy a nice new
home in a housing development. You could have had beautiful carpets, lovely
appliances, 5 bedrooms and a pool!” Even the building inspector who compiled a
report for us rang me and said “Mate, I’ve looked at a couple of houses for you now, and I look at houses for a living, I reckon you have rocks in your head if you take this on”.
Our house is in a country town called Langhorne Creek which is situated on a flood plain. The surrounding grape vines survive on regular flooding. In a recent flood however, our house was one of the few houses in the town which was not flooded. Several new houses in the new development in town were inundated by water and severely damaged. All the while, our old ‘wreck’ was high, dry and undamaged.
What our house has is wisdom and firm foundations. It was built in the late 1800s by people who knew where the flood waters went. It was built by people who saw houses as needing to stand for centuries, and not just for the decades that it seems current houses are designed for. It has a proven ‘track record’ – it has stood firm against the world for over 120 years now.
God gave us some pretty helpful instructions as a people. Don’t lie, don’t steal, don’t be jealous, love other people…just to name a few. In my experience, I’ve found my suffering to be caused when I don’t follow the wise advice of God.
In our world today, listening to what God may have to say is seen a bit like my old house. From the outside, it looks old, rundown and irrelevant. When you open the door and have a look, we find how relevant and valuable God’s wisdom is to us today.
If you haven’t had a look before, I encourage you to pick up a Bible and see for
yourself. There is an abundance of solid advice!
May we be open to God’s wisdom and seek to build our house on his foundation.
Let us also not forget that God is with us, even when we ignore his advice, go our own way and find ourselves in rough situations.