This may well be the most famous house in the world right now. Who hasn't seen it? It's been the topic of conversation ever since Hurricane Ike plowed its way through south Texas, wiping out towns, changing the landscape and disrupting lives for the foreseeable future. But this house remains fixed in our minds. Why did this particular house stand when all the others did not? Why is this house different? Who built this house? What is the story behind it? Everyone wants to know. Yes, it sustained some damage. I'm sure there are windows out. The stairwell leading up to the side deck looks twisted and unsafe. And there's probably quite a bit of water damage to the interior. But it is standing.
Standing alone in the midst of otherwise total wipe-out by the storm.
It does give one pause. It appears this house did not stand because of fate. It did not suddenly decide to be strong. It was designed by it's owners, with purpose, to withstand a hurricane. They evidently sustained substantial damage during Hurricane Rita back in 2005. They sought expert advice and retained contractors to construct a structure that would be strong and withstand the storms that inevitably would come their way.
They had purpose.
They sought expert advice.
They actively developed a plan.
They followed through with a plan.
Their house is standing.
Awesome. Totally awesome.
So, in my Christian life, I wonder, have I prepared for the inevitable storms of life? Have I sought God's "advice" to shore up my foundation in Him? Will I still be standing when those storms hit? Or will I be one of the unseen houses that has been washed away and is seen no more? It bears reflection, folks; it definitely bears reflection.
We are told in God's word a parable of two men who built houses. One built on the sand and when the rains and storm came, his house was washed away. The other man built his house on solid rock. And he withstood the storm.
Matthew 7:21 - 29
21"Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.
22"Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?'
23"And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.'24"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.
25"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.
26"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.
27"The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell--and great was its fall."
Convicting? Yes. Heeded? Not by many. We think we will be "safe" and "get by". But preparation is in order. Action is required. Execution is essential.
I am reminded of the song we sing in services, "We Have an Anchor", written in 1882 by a woman named Priscilla Owens:
"Will your anchor hold in the storms of life,
When the clouds unfold their wings of strife?
When the strong tides lift and the cables strain,
Will your anchor drift, or firm remain?
We have an anchor that keeps the soul
Steadfast and sure while the billows roll,
Fastened to the Rock which cannot move,
Grounded firm and deep in the Savior’s love.
It is safely moored, ’twill the storm withstand,
For ’tis well secured by the Savior’s hand;
And the cables, passed from His heart to mine,
Can defy that blast, thro’ strength divine.
It will surely hold in the Straits of Fear—
When the breakers have told that the reef is near;
Though the tempest rave and the wild winds blow,
Not an angry wave shall our bark o’erflow.
It will firmly hold in the Floods of Death—-
When the waters cold chill our latest breath,
On the rising tide it can never fail,
While our hopes abide within the Veil.
When our eyes behold through the gath’ring night
The city of gold, our harbor bright,
We shall anchor fast by the heav’nly shore,
With the storms all past forevermore."
I have an anchor. I need to cling to Him with all my might. He is my source of strength and direction.
Do YOU have an anchor? Think about it.