2 Samuel 22:2-3a – The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge and my Saviour. (NIV)
Crews had been working on our road for almost two years. Then, one day, they were done! Interestingly enough, the final section to be completed was right where we lived, as the crews had worked from either end toward the middle. I remember being able to hear them rejoicing as the final stretch was rolled smooth. How pleased everyone was with the new road! How proud everyone was that this challenge had been conquered!
And then … it rained. And it rained. And it rained. And the road which had been redesigned and rebuilt to withstand flooding and washouts went splat in many places, trapping hundreds of people, cutting them off from town, electricity, and medical help. How embarrassing for those who had done the designing! How disappointing for those who had paid for it! How frustrating for those who had worked so hard with the actual building of it!
Not all of the road, however, was washed away. Stretches that had been built upon a foundation of rock were either totally unscathed or needed only slight patching, whereas the washout sections had not held up due to a foundation of sand and earth. This was a foundation that had indeed been quite thick and well-packed, a foundation, however, which was susceptible to the power of water — water which ate it away, bit by bit, until finally the pavement had been sufficiently undermined to cause collapse.
Jesus said, "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 the 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 NIV)
In turn, I ask each of us today, what are we doing with the words of Jesus — personally, and corporately, as His body, the Church? Are we wisely putting them into practice, or foolishly practising putting them on the shelf?
Prayer: O God, our heavenly Father, wonderful Friend and inerrant guide, empower us with desire to search out, know and apply the words of Jesus to our hearts, minds and lives, so that our ministries will be effective, rock-solid, bearing much fruit for your kingdom, now and forevermore. In Christ's name. Amen.