“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… 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” (Matthew 7:24, 26,27).
On what are you building your life–rock or sand? Each year as Rest Ministries sponsors National Invisible Illness Awareness Week, I hear hundreds of illness stories–especially the emotional pain.
As an outreach to a community of sufferers–most of whom do not know the Lord–it is heart-wrenching because most stories don’t end with hope. Suffering is extra painful when you do not have the presence of Jesus.
There is no shortage of “sand” for people to build their lives on. Medications, research and science, support organizations, herbal treatments, the next New Age practice. We are bombarded with “answers” to ease our suffering. And yet, with one shift of the sands, they all tumble away.
But what of those who have heard God’s words of where to put our faith and hope? “… everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man…”
Those of us who know Jesus are not immune to the temptations of the sands. We must have discernment to recognize what is a tool (like a medication perhaps) and what is a temptation (like a pain clinic that insist you use the New Age techniques).
Sand will always swirl around–and that is to be expected. We must draw close to God to gain wisdom so we can recognize which sands to use and which ones to flee from. But regardless of how appropriate a sand may be, we should never build our life on it.
Our heart must always place God as the King of all. Things which offer us relief from pain will always compete for an idol position in our life. When they stop working, we can go into depression, lash out at those we love, and even be at risk of losing our faith in God–because He didn’t answer our prayer the way we expected.
When God is on the throne our life is built on rock. Sands will swirl, but our life will stand firm.
Prayer: God, I try to keep my focus in You, but I consistently must ask You to search my soul to make sure I am not being distracted by that which the world offers. Help me know when You have provided a tool to ease my pain and which sands I should avoid. Amen.
About the author:
Lisa Copen began Rest Ministries in 1996 when she was unable to find Christian faith-based support specifically for those with chronic illness. Her most recent book “Refresh Me, Lord“, a book of prayers for those who are chronically ill, was recently released.
David I. Levy MD, Clinical Professor of Neurosurgery, UCSD School of Medicine, says “Prayer is not easy when you don’t feel well. Lisa Copen knows suffering and has a gift for drawing people into communication with God in every circumstance. This is a helpful book for every person – we all need more joy and Lisa helps us find it.” She hopes it reminds people that prayer is not something to put on a to-do list, but a conversation with God.
How can you stay accountable so that your house doesn’t start to shift to a foundation of sand? How do you maintain discernment and wisdom in this life?
This is the group 4Him singing “Solid Rock.” This group no longer exists but their music has beautiful harmony and I had their tapes way back when. I Hope it blesses you today. -Lisa