This summer our granddaughter spent a week with us at the beach. I enjoyed building sandcastles together. Give any man a shovel, bucket, and sand, and he will instantly revert to boyhood!
Children do not approach sandcastles with the seriousness of adults. We undertake the task like Georgia Tech engineers designing a skyscraper. However, even the best sandcastles do not last. They are trampled underfoot or washed away. All the work seldom outlasts the day.
In the comic strip “Peanuts,” Linus constructed an elaborate sandcastle, complete with turrets, moat, and drawbridge. Then a giant wave flattened his creation. Dazed, he said, “There is a lesson to be learned here somewhere. But I don’t know what it is!”
In Matthew 7, Jesus told a story about two men who planned to build a house. The first man searched until he found a good site. Then he dug deep and laid the home’s foundation on solid rock.
The second man did not take any care in choosing a construction site. He quickly found a plain of smooth sand. Little work was required to lay a foundation upon the ground, and the house was soon completed.
In Palestine, the wet season begins in September. The rains came and the floods rose. The home built on solid rock survived. However, the waters destroyed the house built on sand.
Jesus concluded the story by saying, “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. Those who hear and do not act are like the foolish man who built upon the sand.”
The world is shot through with fault lines. It provides no firm foundation. Those who base life on the temporal rather than the eternal are building sandcastles before a rising tide.
When the rains come, the floods rise, and the storms strike, only those who build upon the firm foundation of Jesus Christ will stand. Everything else will be swept away.