Today is the fourth day of our local shelter-in-place order and Terri and I continue settling in to our new temporary normal. At least we believe it is temporary even though we do not know how long this present situation will last. We are grateful that God is looking out for us and that we continue to experience the blessings of His provision like good health and food in the fridge.
Amid this COVID-19 crisis, we continue to draw closer to God and are leaning on the truth and promise of Scripture. For us, the Bible provides a solid anchor and constant reminder that on Christ, the Solid Rock, we stand. Whatever the future holds, we know that God’s got this.
COVID-19 has made many people more cognizant of their own mortality. While I was still able to go out and make in-person work site visits and minister to people in their workplaces, a growing number of individuals had questions about life, death, and eternity. Dying is a sobering thought.
A friend of mine and I were talking the other night after recording our worship services for online church this Sunday and he expressed that as a believer dying did not scare him. Naturally, he does not want to leave his loved ones nor put them through the burden and grief that would come with losing him in this life. But he knows without a shadow of a doubt that what awaits him in Heaven is far greater than what keeps him here on Earth, even though his own life is overflowing with fantastic blessings. His foundation is anchored in Jesus Christ and no one other than Jesus Christ.
For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 3:11 (NIV)
In Scripture, we often find our life compared to that of a house. A home built on a solid foundation will weather whatever storm this world can muster against it. Houses built on less sure foundations will crumble easily when faced with a strong wind or powerful storm. It is not the severity of the storm but the sureness of the foundation upon which the home is built that makes the difference.
Edward Mote, a successful cabinet maker and devoted church layman, did not grow up in a Christian home. His parents were poor innkeepers who ran a pub and struggled to make ends meet in 19th century London. At 16, Edward experienced a life changing encounter with Jesus and gave his life to Christ. Later on in his life, Edward played a significant role in building a chapel in Horsham, England. He wound up preaching and ministering in that church until failing health forced him to retire from the pulpit.
During his ministry years, Edward Mote found time to write more than one hundred and fifty hymns, many of which are found in an 1836 collection he published titled Hymns of Praise. Mote’s collection included the now well-known hymn “The Solid Rock.” Mote’s hymn is based on the words of Jesus in Matthew 7:24-27, the chapter that concludes the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus is telling a parable comparing wise and foolish builders.
24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
Matthew 7:24-27 (NIV)
From the outside, both houses in Jesus’ illustration look sturdy and secure. However, extreme testing reveals the actual quality of the builders’ work. It turns out, one of the houses was built on a better foundation that could withstand any storm.
And so it is with us. If we are wise, we build our foundation on Jesus Christ. If we are foolish, we fail to employ the gift God has freely given us and will be unprepared to endure and persevere the tests and trials, like COVID-19, that this earthly life brings. If we expect to withstand the ups and downs of life, we must put our faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. If we act wisely than we will rest our confidence in who Jesus is, what Jesus has done for all of us, and in what Jesus taught. He alone is the Solid Rock.
If we put our trust and faith in Jesus Christ, we can weather any storm, including this one that the entire world knows as COVID-19.
The Solid Rock
words by Edward Mote, music by William B. Bradbury
The Devotional Guy™
ABOUT:The Devotional Guy™is a writing ministry of Rainer Bantau, a chaplain actively and intentionally sharing the love of Jesus with people working in the marketplace and wherever else he encounters them.