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Beacon Senior News

What makes a firm foundation?

Jul 26, 2021 10:44AM ● By Vic Stinemetze
A black and white image of a wooden shed, collapsed and leaning on one side

When my wife and I bought our house in 2016 it looked pretty good on the inside, but it needed lots of work in the yard. We began updating the outside, adding rock and pavers down the sides, as well as expanding the concrete patio.

One of the remaining major repairs was a metal storage shed. The paint was faded and had rust spots forming on the roof and sides. Even more concerning, the two-by-four frame underneath was twisted and the flooring was beginning to come apart. As we began to work on the frame and flooring, it became obvious it required a lot more work. 

Fortunately, the sleeper boards underneath were still good, so I replaced the outside boards and added new flooring over the old existing flooring. After two coats of paint, the shed went from an eyesore to a nice-looking and functional part of our backyard. Now, we have a great, low-maintenance yard for us to enjoy for a number of years and a space to host backyard barbecues with friends and family. 

Working on the shed reminded me of the old hymn, “How Firm a Foundation.”

How firm a foundation, you saints of the Lord

Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word.

What more can He say, then to you He has said

To you who for refuge to Jesus have fled.

Fear not, I am with you, O be not dismayed

For I am your God, and will still give you aid

I’ll strengthen you, help you, and cause you to stand

Upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.

In Luke 6:46-49, Jesus begins his parable by saying, “So why do you keep calling me Lord, when you don’t do what I say? I will show you what it’s like when someone comes to me, listens to my teaching, and then follows it.” Jesus says listening to his teaching is like a person building a house who digs deep and lays the foundation on solid rock. When the floodwaters rise and break against the house, it stands firm because it’s well built. 

But anyone who hears and doesn’t obey the word of God is like a person who builds a house right on the ground, without a foundation. When the floods sweep down against the house, it collapses into a heap of ruins. Like another hymn begins, “On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.” 

The floor of my shed began to fall apart because it was built on twisted lumber, not on solid bedrock. In the same way, when we try to live without God—when we build our lives on twisted platforms and ideals with no solid foundation, or when we try to live by our own means and standards—our lives, too, often fall apart. We may feel we’re doing well. “I don’t need God,” we say in our hearts. But when the storms come (and there will be storms in our lives), we begin to struggle because we don’t have the solid foundation of Jesus Christ.


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