What follows is the first installment in a series on foundations. I can’t emphasize how important it is to be rooted and grounded in faith. If we are not firmly established upon the rock, we will never be able to stand against the storms that will come. May you be encouraged and blessed.
“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 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.” Matthew 7:24-27 NKJV
Unless you have been living under a rock, it is likely you are aware of the impact that hurricane Irene had up the east coast of the US last summer. Here in Vermont we were especially hard hit as the warm, moisture saturated air of Irene collided with the Green Mountains, to produce a sort of perfect storm, with some areas receiving over ten inches of rain. That rain swept down the steep slopes into the valleys producing wide spread flooding.
If you are like me, when someone mentions flooding, you picture a river gradually overflowing its banks and inundating the surrounding countryside sometimes for weeks at a time. That was not the case here in Vermont. Instead, we had flash floods that ripped savagely through an area for a few hours and then disappeared, leaving behind a surreal landscape of ripped up trees and bridges, displaced boulders, new river beds, smashed houses and cars. We have been told that what happened approached 500 year flood levels. I don’t know, I haven’t been around that long, but I am very glad we did not live near any of those streams.
As an insurance agent, I spend a lot of time on the road, and have witnessed the aftermath and the clean up first hand. As I traveled the state, I began to be struck by something. Much, perhaps even most of the damage was not water damage per se, but foundation damage caused by the scouring effect of the debris laden water. Over 500 miles of roads were damaged because the road bed was washed away. Most of the bridges and home damage likewise appeared to be due to foundation failure secondary to the soil being washed away.
As I was driving one day, the Lord spoke to me saying, “Where are your foundations? Are they in the sand, or firmly anchored to the Solid Rock?” Engineers understand the importance of a good foundation, expending great effort and expense to ensure that the foundations of our buildings are as solid as possible. I watched a program on the construction of the Hoover Dam a while back, and remember being struck by how much effort they expended to ensure the foundation of the dam was placed on solid rock, even to the point of drilling great tunnels through the canyon sides to divert the river around the site, providing the workers with a dry riverbed to work in. Then they began to dig for bedrock. Once they reached solid bedrock, they finally began to build, starting with the massive foundation needed to support the structure they were about to build.
So it is with us, the Lord will spare no expense or effort in ensuring that our house is built upon a sure foundation anchored to the Rock of Ages. Have you ever wondered why you face all those trials? I have, more than once, I have wondered just that. Was it something I did, or failed to do? At times I am sure that was the case, but I suspect that more often then not, it was the process of digging down and establishing solid foundations to ensure my house would stand. In fact, I am sure of it, because the Word not only shows us, but promises us that this will be the case.
Take Joseph for example. He had a dream, two actually, and both from God:
Now Joseph had a dream, and he told it to his brothers; and they hated him even more. So he said to them, “Please hear this dream which I have dreamed: There we were, binding sheaves in the field. Then behold, my sheaf arose and also stood upright; and indeed your sheaves stood all around and bowed down to my sheaf.”
And his brothers said to him, “Shall you indeed reign over us? Or shall you indeed have dominion over us?” So they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words. Then he dreamed still another dream and told it to his brothers, and said, “Look, I have dreamed another dream. And this time, the sun, the moon, and the eleven stars bowed down to me.” So he told it to his father and his brothers; and his father rebuked him and said to him, “What is this dream that you have dreamed? Shall your mother and I and your brothers indeed come to bow down to the earth before you?” And his brothers envied him, but his father kept the matter in mind. Gen 37:5-11 NKJV
He told his God given dreams to his family, and what was the result? Jealousy, envy, and ultimately, in Joseph being sold as a slave and his spending years in prison. So did Joseph do something wrong? Well maybe, God may speak to us, perhaps even like Joseph, speak of great and wonderful things, but we must discern if they are for us to treasure in our hearts, or to share with others, and if we are to share, with whom.
I am sure that Joseph asked the same questions we would; “Did I do something wrong? Why did this happen? How could this happen?” He must have wondered what he did wrong, just like you and I. But all the time, God was preparing him, positioning him, so that when the time came for Joseph to step into his destiny, he was ready, and in the right place.