Shonebarger

My parents told us they had a special surprise. They loaded up my 4-year-old sister and me into the car, and we headed out for a scenic drive into the country. The route seemed familiar from my back seat view. We were excited for what we were about to see. Were we going to a birthday party? Were we going out for a picnic? The vivid imagination of a 5-year-old boy ran wild with the possibilities.

Our family car turned on to a dirt lane at the top of the hill, across the road from the old family log cabin. This gorgeous area of central Ohio is called the “Welsh Hills.” Our Welsh ancestors had settled this area generations earlier. Our family owned a large acreage.

Upon arrival to our destination, we stayed in the car and waited for several minutes. Then I noticed a man driving a Cadillac pull up and exit on the passenger side. This was very odd! My dad approached him and they shook hands. In a moment, my father motioned for us to get out and join them.

Soon we were all taking a walk down the hill to a cleared spot in the field. There were wooden stakes in the ground with rope between the stakes. I noticed the ground had been leveled at the road to allow access for a bulldozer onto the property. What was going on in this field, I wondered?

My mother had us step across the rope and she told us this was going to be our new home. Mom showed us where the living room would be as well as the kitchen, dining room and our bedrooms. It was very difficult for me to visualize a house built on this piece of a field. My little sister stood in confused silence.

Upon our return to the field a few days later, we saw the house had been framed. Now it was beginning to look like a home!

We were able to step into the rooms with a new cement foundation. Within a couple months our brand new home was built. I even had my own bedroom. A driveway had been laid and the mound by the road had been leveled. It was all so beautiful. We were just down the hill from the old family cabin, built in 1860.

As we consider home construction from a spiritual perspective, Jesus taught that a person’s life must be built on a firm foundation.

Outward appearances can be deceiving. People may have similar appearances but have their lives built upon vastly different foundations. However, a life of purpose, significance and impact is built upon God. He is the foundation upon which we must build our lives.

Two homes may have the same floor plan and décor. However, the ultimate test comes when nature’s most brutal storms hit the structure. If one’s home is built on sand, the home will be ultimately destroyed by the winds and floodwaters. Conversely, a home built on a firm foundation will endure the most severe storms. It will stand, regardless of how long the winds blow or how high the floodwaters rise. Yes, there is a distinctive difference in the construction of the homes.

Tragically, a life built upon “sand” is marred by heartache and defeat. There are innumerable options to build one’s life. The world makes grand offers of success and happiness to multitudes of yearning people. Yet the brutal realities of life expose the glitter of imitation gold. The pursuit of fame and fortune cannot satisfy a thirsty soul. There is nothing that our world can offer that truly satisfies a human heart. Jesus taught that only a relationship with Him can guarantee fulfillment.

Our spiritual lives must be built on the “Solid Rock,” Jesus Christ. When we place our faith in God, our foundation is firm. The storms of life may rage; however, our God is our mighty fortress, securing, protecting and hiding us from the perils of our journey. A life entrusted to the all-sufficient Savior is a life with purpose and significance. When the storms of our life come, the Lord stands, sustains and strengthens. We are sheltered in the time of storm.

As a boy I was able to watch a beautiful home be built upon a solid foundation. Years later I made the decision to build my life on Jesus Christ. My journey has endured innumerable storms. Through it all, my anchor has held, my foundation is sure and

God has been the difference. Let us all build on this firm foundation!

Have a great week and remember, God loves YOU!

Contact Jon at jtshonebarger@gmail.com.

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