When I was in Hawaii this summer, I got to go to the beach and play in the water and the waves. Though I may be nearly 50 (yikes), put me on a beach with waves and sand and I turn into a little kid. I could stay in the water all day long. The joy and exhilaration of feeling the power and refreshment of the waves brings such life to me.
While in Kauai, we found this great beach with soft, clean sand and waves that were big enough to challenge your ability to stand, but would not sweep you out to the ocean. It is always good to know this difference. It did not take me long to get into the water and position myself to take the power of the wave. My feet were firmly planted on the sand and my leg muscles tensed up to brace against the fury of the waves. Generally, I was able to stand the impact of the waves and not be moved. However, the challenge of standing in sand was the waves would move the sand around my feet so I constantly had to reposition my feet. There were a few times I thought my feet were good and then the next wave came and was bigger than expected and, as you might imagine, I would stumble and even tumble. There is nothing like using the Pacific Ocean as your personal neti pot for a nasal flush.
Recently, I was thinking about this experience as I have encountered some waves in my life that have pushed against me and sought to knock me off of my feet. Maybe you are familiar with these moments too. These moments come in a myriad of ways and are usually unexpected though not always. Sometimes they are just bigger than we thought they would be.
As I have thought about these situations, I am reminded of Jesus’ words in Matthew 7:24-27. Jesus stated, if you build your house upon the rock, when the rain and storms and waves come, the house will stand. Building your house on the rock did not stop the forces from coming; it just prevented the storms from doing serious damage that would cause the house to be destroyed. Jesus said if you build your house on the sand there could be a great crash when the wind and rain come. This isn’t about building an actual house, but what you build your life upon. What anchors you? What you build your life upon will impact your ability to stand, survive and live.
The difference between rock and sand for our lives according to Jesus is, are you listening to Jesus’ teachings and putting them into practice in your life? This does not mean you read the Bible, or hear a great message/teaching, but you implement those things Jesus instructed you about into your life and make it active in your life. This is not about doing a task. This is about acknowledging the realness of your relationship with God. God sent his son, Jesus Christ, to show you what a relationship with God looks like and invites you to Journey with Jesus to be like Jesus.
I remind you today – Jesus encountered the waves of this world – rejection, pain, brokenness, bullying, misunderstanding, and ultimately death, but he is still standing. May you and I continue to Journey with Jesus to be like Jesus as the waves of this broken world come against us, so we too may be found standing with him.