Back in early February 2020, the UK was swept by a series of devastating storms – storms Ciara, Dennis, and Jorge – causing severe damage. February was the UK’s wettest February on record; parts of the country recorded more than three times the average rainfall for their area!
While we were still reeling from that, March brought a very different kind of storm: Covid 19, and with it all the pain and confusion of loss of life; people hospitalised; financial and economic strife; emotional and social difficulty. And it still continues to this very day! Not to mention the many more personal storms in life that we face, such as family breakdown; ill-health; bereavement; and unemployment.
What do you do when the storms of life break upon you? How do you cope?
In Matthew’s Gospel chapter 7, Jesus said how we cope ultimately depends upon our foundations. He told a story about two builders, and one great storm.
The first man built his house on the sand; the soil was soft, the foundations easy to dig, and the house was built quickly! The second man built his house on the rock; the foundations took far longer to dig, and the work was hard.
Then a devastating storm blew in. Torrential rain poured down and strong winds buffeted the two houses. The sand beneath the first house quickly dissolved, and the whole structure collapsed! But amidst the same storm, the second house, built on firm foundations, stood firm and secure.
In the sunshine, there was no visible difference between the two houses. It was the storm that exposed the bad foundations and proved the good foundations!
We’re all builders! We all have ambitions, hopes, and desires that we build upon; and every thought, word, and deed in pursuit of those things is a building block. Gradually over time each of us builds a life. The question is – what exactly are we building upon? What’s the foundation? More to the point, will our foundation survive the storms of life?
It’s not until the storm comes that our foundations are either proved, or exposed. But the storm will come. And what then?
The life that is secure is the life that is built upon eternal foundations. The Bible tells us that our world, despite all its beauty and complexity, is temporary, destined to one day fade away and dissolve, just as the sand dissolves when the sea comes in! Therefore we may well find our identity in our career; or our money; or our talents; or in our hobbies – but these things will pass. We might also put our trust in the economy or the financial institutions of our country; or politicians; celebrities; family and friends; even in ourselves – but all these will pass too. None of those good, but temporal things, can stand the weight of your trust, therefore none will provide a firm foundation in the storm.
There is a better way. Jesus says – build upon me instead! Find your identity in me! Trust in me! Jesus Christ was more than a mere man; He was – and is – Eternal God in human flesh, the Creator of our world, One who conquered death itself, and lives on in Heaven. He’s described in the Bible as “The Beginning and the End”. The world may dissolve and perish, but Christ is literally forever. True wisdom is knowing and trusting the forever Jesus! Jesus Himself says in Matthew 7: “Everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.”
We all hope and pray that the storm of Covid 19 will end sooner rather than later. But the storm of eternal judgement is coming. Our world will indeed dissolve, and everyone will have to stand before God’s eternal throne and give an account of their actions to Him. The only way to be safe in that day is to have built your life upon God’s Son Jesus. He died at Calvary as our great substitute. Standing between God and humanity, Jesus received God’s judgement against human sin on Himself. Then He came back to life, conquering the Grave. He invites all to believe Him; take Him at His Word; trust Him; submit to His Lordship; ask Him to forgive their sins; making Himtheir rock and firm place to stand; and to live every day continuing to trust Him. That’s the place of peace and certainty, even amidst the storms of life. Will you trust Jesus today?