Build on the Rock

By Marjorie F. Eddington

Categories: God's Provision, Perseverance, Personal Growth and Progress, Sermon on the Mount

Sometimes things happen in life that would try to wash away our foundation—perhaps a loved one passes on; we lose our job; there’s a lot of arguing in the family; we’re too stressed about all that we have to do. The list goes on.

So, how do we maintain our foundation in the storms? Or, how do we rebuild if our foundation has been shaken? We choose our building place wisely. We choose to build or rebuild on the rock, not the sand. That’s what Jesus suggested we do if we would be wise.

In this parable that ends the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says, “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” (Matt 7:25 NIV). Jesus never said “if” the storms descend. The storms do indeed rage. The rock foundation does not keep the rains or the floods away. But the house makes it through the storm successfully and is still standing when the storm has passed.

The house is standing on the rock. We, too, can stand on the rock—the rock of Truth, the rock of ages, the Christ, Jesus’ teachings, the Sermon on the Mount. When we rely on God, build our lives upon God’s word as revealed to us through Jesus’ teaching and life, we can successfully weather whatever storms may come our way.

Now, the world would throw storms at us and try to say it has the answers, that God doesn’t really help, that prayer doesn’t work, that the Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount are impossible to follow or not applicable to our daily lives in such a technological (and materialistic) age as ours, that God doesn’t exist. And there are many other things that would try to take the place of God in our consciousness and hearts.

Such worldly suggestions and offers are all poor real estate—sand. And our houses, our lives, could be washed away if we choose to build upon such transitory, changeable, and ultimately negative prospects. Jesus said that that house “fell with a great crash” (Matt 7:27)—not just minor slippage. And we don’t want any part of that “great crash.” The only thing we really want to fall is evil, fear, anxiety—whatever would try to push us off our rock, our reliance on God.

So we build on the rock, which isn’t always easy. It takes commitment, courage, determination, persistence. We guard our consciousness, our mental homes, from anything that would try to steal away our connection to God, our joy, our dominion. We take the time (even in this fast-paced world) to go into our prayer closet several times a day to commune with God, to ask for guidance, to hear the divine responses. We fill ourselves with thoughts from God, thoughts that buoy and bless us, thoughts that ground us on the rock.

We have to find ways to turn away from worry and towards peace and calm. We may have to unplug from technology or gossip or theories for awhile. Whatever it is we need to do to keep our consciousness, our homes, our lives on the rock, we do. And what we do is listen to Jesus’ words and do them: “Anyone who hears and obeys these teachings of mine is like a wise person who built a house on solid rock” (Matt 7:24 CEV). If we hear but don’t do, we’re foolishly building on the sand. What the Sermon on the Mount requires of us may seem like a tall order. But it’s full with blessings.

And it’s worth it. It’s worth it to be grounded in Truth and Love. It’s worth it to feel secure in God’s presence, dwelling safely in the “secret place of the Most High” (Psalm 91:1 KJV). It’s worth it to know that we’re going to make it through tough times. We discover that we are stronger, more compassionate, more steadfast in our faith. Rather than having our faith or our lives shaken, our faith serves us as we turn to God, our “refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Ps 46:1 KJV).

Wisely building on the rock enables us to weather the storms and to appreciate the sunshine, which may be covered by the storm clouds for a time, but is always there, always shining, always blessing.