"I will show you what someone is like who comes to me, hears my words, and acts on them. That one is like a man building a house, who dug deeply and laid the foundation on rock; when a flood arose, the river burst against that house but could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who hears and does not act is like a man who built a house on the round without a foundation. When the river burst against it, immediately it fell, and great was the ruin of that house." Luke 6:47-49 (NRSV)
Strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33 (NRSV)
Dennis Denby, from Illinois, has a 92 year-old uncle who lives by himself in Sarasota, Florida. As Hurricane Irma was about to hit southern Florida, he really didn't want to leave his house, but his kids convinced him that it was time to go. He packed everything that meant something to him in two suitcases and left.
How simple things become during a storm! When it came down to choosing what to take in the uncle's case, 92 years of life fit into two suitcases. News coverage is full of stories of people who prepared for, evacuated from, and returned after record hurricane events. Some quotes we hear are: "Our house can be replaced, but family can't" and "The damage is awful, but we're so glad everyone is okay." Repeatedly during storms we see that material things lose their importance, and things that really matter come to the forefront.
In today's scripture passage, we see that both men go through a storm. Their outcomes are different only because their foundations are different. This parable illustrates that the Christian life isn't about escaping the storms that come our way but about being able to weather the storms because of our foundation in Jesus Christ.
Prayer: Dear God, as we weather life's storms, help us to build our lives on the firm foundation of your Son so the world can see the source of our strength, in Jesus' name, amen.