We all saw the aerial photos of Mexico Beach after hurricane Michael tore through the panhandle. This was the most destructive storm to ever hit that area in recorded history. Yet, amongst the apocalyptic rubble there was one house that stood. Russel King said that they built their house “for the big one, but we didn’t know it would come so soon.” It was only a year after completion that the house would be put to the test. It came through with almost no damage as it was constructed to withstand 250 mph winds with a foundation of forty-foot pilings driven into the sand and many other strengthening design features. As I saw the comparison of his house to those around him, I thought of a certain parable.
Jesus closed the sermon on the mount with this lesson. “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell—and great was its fall” (Matt. 7:24-27).
It is easy to see the lesson we can learn from this parable. Those houses represent our spiritual lives. Each one of us is building a house, but are we purposely preparing or carelessly constructing? The two people in this parable heard the information. The key difference comes with what they did with it. One heeded the warning, another did not. Mr. King heeded the warnings he read about more frequent and stronger storms, so he prepared. Are we preparing?
There are many storms in life. For those under the threat of major physical storms, we understand the need for being prepared. There are many storms that life throws at us like illness, loss of loved ones, and financial setbacks. These take away our health, family, possessions, and rock us emotionally. How we respond to such tragedies will reveal the quality of our “building.” Will we be emotionally devastated? Will we be able to stand strong, willing to continue on without despair? It all depends on how we are building.
The storm Jesus was speaking of is the final judgment, the big one—death and the final day of Judgment (Heb. 9:27; Rom. 2:4-6). This will be the truest test of our building (2 Cor. 5:10-11). The Lord will describe the kind of “builder” (or servant) we have been. It will either be, “Well done, good and faithful servant…” (Matt. 25:21) or “You wicked and lazy servant…” (Matt. 25:26). The storm is coming. Are you ready?