Pushing against the gate
We’ve been living in this house for 10 years and we really like living here. The house has a flat roof with concealed guttering (the gutters are hidden behind the facia boards to make the house look prettier). But those concealed gutters is a nasty story. A friend of mine says the gutters are so well hidden even the rain can’t find them! There are leaks all over the house, but that’s a story for another day.
At the backdoor there is an iron gate in the courtyard wall. Suddenly, after being in use all these years, we started struggling to open the gate. It’s gotten stuck and eventually it was so bad we had to push hard against the gate with a shoulder to get it open. I soon realised my shoulder won’t make it.
Further investigation showed that the part of the wall to which the gate was affixed, was crumbling away from the wall of the house. I tried many things and even used my car’s jack in an attempt to get the wall back where it should be so that I could get it closer to the other part of the wall with brackets, but I just couldn’t move it. I only succeeded in bending the jack.
Sometime after that a high water bill forced me to dig a trench right next to the gate and along the wall to get to a damp patch. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the leaking pipe, but with a shock I saw the foundation of the wall to which the gate was fixed. It was the same width as the wall, not even ten centimetres wide. No wonder that after all these years the weight of the gate was ripping the wall away from the wall of the house. The foundation was not strong enough and eventually started collapsing under the heavy weight of the iron gate.
Everything would have to be demolished, the old foundation taken out and a new foundation constructed. Then a new wall would have to be built, plastered, painted and the gate re-hung. Why couldn’t they have done it right the first time?
In the meantime, the shoulder would have to do. This little project is far down the to-do list.
I wonder whether Paul was a builder, because he understood about strong foundations and gave the following advice: 6-7… You received Christ Jesus, the Master; now live Him. You’re deeply rooted in Him. You’re well constructed upon Him. You know your way around the faith. Now do what you’ve been taught. School’s out; quit studying the subject and start living it! And let your living spill over into thanksgiving.
Only one foundation will work for our lives and that is Jesus. When times are hard, when the pressure is simply too much to bear on our own, Jesus will not fall down. He will keep us upright. He will keep us standing. He is strong enough to withstand hard times.
Only Jesus! Nothing and no one else!
Without realising it, many build their lives on other foundations. Many say, “I go to church often,” or, “I’m not a bad person”. “I often give to the needy,” or, “I pray,” and so on. Foundations like these are not enough. They may work for a few years, but one day those foundations will simply be too weak. Suddenly the gate through which you go enter the world get stuck, your shoulder bruised and sore. Then you will have to break down everything to make space for Jesus so that He can become the foundation of your life.
This is good advice. Follow it with your whole being. Then the storms may come. Then pressure may push and pull you. You and your life house will keep standing, because Jesus is your foundation.
How firm is your foundation?
Are your walls in danger of falling down?
How do you make Jesus part of the foundation of your life?
Jesus, I’m starting to understand why there are times in my life when it feels as if everything is falling apart. I realise that I have to make You a part of my whole life so that I can stand strong. Yes, You must be my foundation. Amen.