I love the beach.
I mean, it’s summer. You get to lounge. Take it easy. Put on sunglasses. Put on a bathing suit. And just relax.
This past weekend, the young adults of my church went to the beach after service. It was a little cloudy and chilly but overall we had a great time. We found parking, walked a longgg way to the beach front, and set up our towels, chairs, and food. Everything went well …until the waves came.
As the waves continued to grow and become more frequent, the after math of them falling also spread. The waves spread so much that it was pushing the line between shore and us. We had to move our things countless times, back and back and back until we found ourselves in the middle of the beach area – far away from the preconceived shore. I was already cold, trying to enjoy the little bit of sun that was out, but I was also guardian over 3 bags, 3 chairs, some food …and every time the waves would come, I would be responsible to pick up all of those things and move further and further away from the shore in fear that the water would catch up to my things and completely soak them. So. Annoying. #ugh
How could something intended for enjoyment also leave me feeling like “ok, I’m ready to leave and go home?”
In Matthews 7:24-26, Jesus shares with those listening that anyone who really takes in His Words will be like the one who builds upon a solid rock – unmovable, unwavering and sturdy despite any storm, the rain, or crazy waves. Conversely, anyone who doesn’t listen to His Word is like the foolish person who builds their house on the sand and “when the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.”
When I read Matthew 7 this morning, I realized that I myself witnessed God’s Word on Sunday. I brought all of these things with me and was left responsible to monitor and protect these items, but once the waves came, I was left unprotected and further away from my intended view. I had to quickly move my things, no matter how heavy, no matter if they got wet or not, to safety. And I had to keep doing this over and over and over again. I was being pushed further and further away from the view that I came to the beach to see – an open beautiful ocean. Isn’t that how life distracts us? There are so many big waves and big winds that push us further and further away from the very thing God wants us to see and enjoy – the big things that God has planned for our lives.
How often do we build so close to the shore that we constantly find ourselves rebuilding? Remodeling? I believe that the reason why we find ourselves in uncertainty with regards to our relationships, our plans, our families is because we don’t listen to and digest the words that Jesus wants to write on our hearts. We instead create our own justifications, our own belief systems and judgment calls, only to find ourselves having to run every time a storm comes to higher and higher ground…and inevitably getting soaked by the waves of life that crash all around us.
And Jesus guarantees that the castles we build on our own, the lies that we tell ourselves to justify our own truths, will surely fall. The waves of life – disappointment, debt, loneliness, anger, regret – are guaranteed to happen but the Word of God endures forever. That’s why we should depend on the Word to get us through, that’s why we should build our relationships, our desires, our plans on the Word that Jesus has so freely and lovingly given us. His Word endures forever so everything that God has spoken over us and in us is going to last. He’s durable. He’s unmovable.
So as we go through the summer, let’s appreciate the fact that our lives and our hope are built on the strong and solid foundation of Christ ..and not ourselves. So no matter how close we get to the shore, no matter how high the waves or how far the water spreads, we are not easily shaken or broken or destroyed. We don’t crash, we conquer.