It was about 4:30 am on a September morning in 1996. The phone rang with that eerie sound that only a call that early can make. As I guardedly picked up the phone and said hello; in a rush of panic it was my sister telling me my parents house had been hit by a car. That the oil tank, furnace and water main in the basement had taken the hit and there was 200 gallons of oil spilled and water was gushing all over the basement floor. An awful smell had filled the house as well as an oily vapor. My parents bedroom was on the first floor and the hit happened right there in the side of the foundation under their room. Both of my parents had been thrown from the bed in the impact. And my dad was having difficulty breathing… “come quick” was the last thing she said and she hung up.
I threw on some clothes and headed to my parents in the dark of that early morning. It was a 17 mile drive and I had no clue what I would find when I got there. As I approached the intersection just before the house there were fire trucks, police cars, ambulances, reporters. I was stopped by the police, as I explained I was family, they said “there has been a toxic spill we cannot let you drive down there, there could still be an explosion”. I was gripped with fear that my family home would go up in flames, but I parked right there and got passed the officer and headed to my family. Mom, Dad, and three of my sisters were on the neighbor’s lawn; half the neighborhood had been awakened and all were pajama clad watching this scene unfold.
This devastation happened in a matter of seconds when a drunk driver came speeding down the street at over 100 miles an hour and could not maneuver the slight curve in the road. The car hit the neighbors porch first then into the side of the stone foundation. As I stood there and looked at this old 1973 Maverick sticking out of the house, with nose buried right up to the windshield I wondered how the young man survived. He made it out of there with a broken leg and broken nose. Minor compared to what could have happened.
When I compare the devastation of my parent’s house to our spiritual lives I have to agree that I can just as quickly be destroyed, beaten down, crumble before God. Life happens and it’s trials and difficulties can come in the twinkling of an eye. My spiritual foundation can take a hit when; those I love and trust assail me with insults and innuendo, slander and gossip, divorce and abandonment. When the Dr’s report is one that says… “This is terminal”. Or my child is rebellious beyond comprehension or succumbs to drug addiction that I never saw coming. That is if my spiritual foundation is based on religion and works, neither of which matter much in the grand scheme of our sufferings. There are not enough good works, liturgy or behavioral modification plans that will keep any of these things or worse from coming into my life.
"48He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built."
My parents house was built in the early 1900, the foundation was field-stone. The hit it took that day sent those stones flying across the basement, literally there were huge stones scattered everywhere, and there were small stones that even ended up in the dryer on the exact opposite side of the basement. Older foundations like that one cannot withstand that kind of impact. Today’s concrete foundations are built with reinforcement rod throughout; its thickness’s are consistent and can withstand much.
I not only want a house foundation that will take a hit, I want, need, have to have a spiritual foundation that can too. The practice of religion is not, nor can it ever be a foundation that will withstand life’s hits. Jesus is the Rock on which we are to build our Spiritual foundation. Matt 16:18 tells us that Jesus is the Rock Peter is to build on. Likewise we are to do the same. Jesus is our Righteousness, without Him, anything we do is nothing more than wood hay and stubble (or field stones).
1 Corinthians 1:30 &31
"30It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31Therefore, as it is written: "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord."
After the accident at my parent’s home, the foundation was rebuilt, the house was lifted up and a NEW foundation was laid. One that was up to code (for 1996 anyway). With that, the floors which had their sway before, now lay level. The New Water meter and piping didn’t leak so the water bills were accurate and the New Oil tank, furnace (yes that too was destroyed) kept the house warmer and ran more efficiently. (as well as the new dryer).
Trials and sufferings come at times to knock down the old foundations of fieldstone, (religion, works etc) so that the Master builder can come in and give us a NEW Foundation. HIM. So that when the HITS come and they will, we survive in His strength and power. Let Him rebuild your foundation, put away anything that is not of Him for it won’t take the Hit.