(by Kelli Young)
This summer my family and I have undertaken the huge project of building my mom a new house. Her current house is over 100 years old, big, drafty, inefficient, and gets a flooded basement every year. In addition to these was the biggest problem of all: a cracked foundation. The original house was small and as the family expanded over the years, so did the house. A kitchen added on here, an in-law apartment there, a second story to the apartment followed, and so on. As a result of all of these additions the foundation cracked about 25 years ago. The original foundation was never meant to bear the weight of all of this “extra” house. The crack started as a small crack in the wall and slowly spread to the floor and across to the other walls. Over the years the crack had grown increasingly bigger until you could actually see dirt and light through it. As we became more worried about what might happen to the house, we came to the decision as a family that it was time to start from scratch.
Just like my mom’s house foundation, we have a life foundation. Your foundation begins to be built from your birth; how you are raised, where you grow up, your friends, your schooling, etc. All of these things affect who you are as a person and how you build the rest of your life. You may not even be aware of what you have built your life on, but every one of us has something that we cling to that steers us in our lives. For some it may be family, for others it may be money and success, and for others it may be education, the list goes on and on. Yet Scripture tells us exactly what our foundation should be, and that is Jesus Christ.
“See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.”
And in the book of Acts Peter states:
“Jesus is ‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone’”
If we don’t have Jesus as our foundation, then we will crack under the pressure. We were never made to get through this life alone and bear its weight by ourselves. God created us as His children and calls us to be in relationship with Him. Think of all the things that we deal with on a regular basis; stress, anxiety, fear, betrayal, disappointment, illness, injury, and even death. As these things pile up on our lives it seems impossible to carry it all by ourselves.
As we have been preparing to build my mom a new house, we had to plan on how to take the old house down. We decided that burning it was the best option. We would be helping out the local fire department in their training and we wouldn’t have to get rid of all the debris. As we organized for this, we had to get everything out of the house. It was a slow and steady process. There is no easy way to go through decades worth of stuff! We went through the house room by room and closet by closet, systematically dividing and packing up things. My mom had to decide what she needed to save and what she needed to get rid of. Some things were easy to get rid of, like the third set of dishes she had packed away in the closest, while other things were harder to part with, like weddings gifts or toys from her childhood. Sometimes an outside perspective was needed to help her decide what she needed and what she didn’t. And slowly everything was sorted and packed and out of the house.
Whether you have recently committed your life to Christ or he has been your savior for decades it is never a bad idea to take inventory of your life. What in your life is built around Christ and what isn’t? Just like my mom, we should go through our life and take it one piece at a time. What can we save and what needs to go? When I committed my life to Christ I was 23 years old. So that meant I had 23 years of “stuff” to go through. I had to decide what could be taken with me and added to my new foundation and what had to be left behind. Some things like love for others, loyalty, and hunger for truth got to come with me, yet others like irresponsibility, selfishness, and envy of others had to be left behind. Paul tells us in Corinthians:
1 Corinthians 3:10-11
10) “By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care.
11) For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.”
There is no other foundation than Jesus Christ. He should be the only thing that we build our lives on, otherwise our foundation will crumble. Family cannot give you strength like He does, money cannot buy you salvation, education will not earn you rewards in the Everlasting Kingdom. Although all of these things are important, Jesus Christ is the only one who can give us a strong and solid foundation.
Jesus told a parable about the wise and foolish builders:
24) “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.
25) 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.
26) 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.
27) The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash”
Jesus had wise words for the people around him at that time and they are still applicable today to our lives. Building our lives around our Savior and trying to follow him the best we know how is the only way we will withstand the storm. It’s time to take a look at what you have built your life on and take inventory of what can stay and what needs to go!