By: Jeremiah Storkson
Oklahoma is a state with many kinds of weather. In fact, you can find almost any form of weird storm or temperature when you come visit. For those of you who have gone to OKWU for more than a year, you may know what I am talking about. One day it may be cold with a chance of blizzard-like conditions, and the next you may be dealing with tornados. That may be an exaggeration, but honestly not by much. We really do live in a crazy state.
One type of natural occurrence we haven’t seen much of, however, are earthquakes. That is, until recently. Within the past several years, earthquakes have become almost normal. This development has obviously made people nervous and has driven an examination of how strong the houses in Oklahoma are, and how ready they are to withstand a strong earthquake. People have begun to realize that we need to be ready for a possibly significant seismic event to occur. In order for a house to survive an earthquake, it needs to be built the right way. In order for it to truly last, however, it also needs to be built on a quality foundation. Now, you may be wondering why I am telling you this. It actually has a lot to do with the Scripture I am sharing with you in this article.
It is amazing how easy it is to speak the words “God is my foundation,” or “God is my strength.” Those words fill Instagram bios, echo in churches, and are the focus of what we want to be as followers of Christ. That is obviously a great thing. We should talk about it, and Christ should be our foundation. Recently, however, I have found myself wondering if we fully know what we are saying when we speak those words. Jesus says,
“’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. 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. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.’ When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.”
Matthew 7:24-27 (NIV)
This is one of my favorite passages of Scripture. What is interesting is that Jesus tells us that His presence creates a foundation in us as we seek it. This means that our houses can withstand the storm, not because of our strength or work, but because of His. What is amazing and scary about this Scripture is that Jesus implies that there will inevitably be rain. He assures that there will be a need for a foundation.
In our lives, the foundation we have in Christ was given for a reason. I have discovered that the moments I find out whether or not Jesus is my true foundation are when that said foundation is tested and pushed again. It happens when the windows are blowing out, the walls are coming down, and all I have is my faith. It happens when I have to seemingly rebuild and
put back the pieces of my life. Something about that relates to what happens when a storm hits in our lives.
A hard season shows me how strong my faith actually is, what I really put my trust and value in, and it usually brings me to a point of seeking more. It makes me evaluate the strength of my foundation. It makes me seek His face, not just His actions or gifts. It takes me into a deeper intimacy with God. The truth is, the storm is going to come. The earthquake is a given. Sorry if that seems like a doomsday mindset, but such is life. Storms are a part of it; however, they don’t have to own you. The storms that come in our lives do not have to destroy everything that builds us and makes us who we are.
What are you building your foundation upon? Is it your feelings? Is it your grades? Is it a relationship? Is it your image on campus? Maybe you are creating a foundation on looking like a “good Christian,” when in reality you don’t really know if you believe in God. Ultimately, when you’re separated from the Presence of God, the storm and the seismic shaking that life brings will move the foundation you have built for yourself if it is built on something other than Jesus.
With the strength of Christ, however, the shaking will come, and the storms will attempt to destroy you, but the foundation Jesus provides will bring you through. He will sustain you and even grow your dependency on Him through it. I don’t know what your summer, month, year, or even weekend looked like. Maybe you are facing a storm, or a lack of foundation, and you need something to build on. Maybe you simply realize you have nothing solid that your life is built on, just the fragility and fickleness that comes with the things of this world.
I want to challenge you to find your foundation in Christ this semester. He is a steady rock and a firm foundation. The question is, will you let His presence be what you build your semester on? Only when we open our lives to His truth, His love, and His existence in our days will we truly have a solid foundation. So today, before you walk through classes, work, or whatever you have going on, pray and ask God that He would enter your world and become the Rock you build it on.
Here is a song that we recently heard in chapel that is about building your life upon His foundation: https://youtu.be/FYMjO9mL0Tw