I’m sinking! I opened my mouth to scream for help and there was no one in sight. My body was almost waist deep in sand. Waves were crashing all around me.
What began as a casual walk along the beach in the early morning hours was turning into a nightmare. As the tide had gone out, pools of water had formed between the dry hard sand and the ocean. What appeared to be hard wet sand was an illusion.
Holding my cellphone in one hand over my head, I threw the upper half of my body into the shallow pool of water and wiggled my way out and then begin to crawl onto the dry packed sand.
When I finally stood up, I began to laugh and cry tears of thanksgiving.
Even though I was wet and covered in sand, I was determined to finish my walk. As I did, the Lord brought Matthew 7:26 to my mind: “But everyone who hears these words of Mine and doesn’t act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.”
Defensively I replied in my heart, “Lord, I am building my life on you.” His response, “Go examine your life against my Word.” The Lord never wants us to live our life in comparison to anyone else’s. His standard for our lives is to be His word, not our neighbor, our friend, our family, or even our pastor. Jesus’ life and His words are to be our plumb line, the tool in which we keep our lives aligned to God’s standards and not the world’s standards. (Isaiah 28:16-17 and Amos 7:7-8) When we measure ourselves against others, it’s an illusion, not a true standard.
Upon returning to the beach house where I was staying. I sat down and opened His word.
Jesus uses the parable of building your house on either the rock or sand as the closing illustration of one of His most powerful sermons, Matthew 5-7. Many refer to this sermon as “The Sermon on the Mount” because Jesus chose to preach sitting down on a mountainside as crowds of people were listening.
As I read through these chapters, the Holy Spirit began to speak clearly to my heart and convict me of areas in my life. One of those areas is worry/anxiety. “Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34 The Greek word “worry” means to be “torn in two.” When I worry, I am choosing to reject Christ as trustworthy and my mind is dependent on others or myself to solve problems. My heart becomes divided.
Jesus doesn’t say not to worry when there is no more pandemic and a vaccine is found, or when the right political leaders are elected, or there is plenty of money in my bank account, or when all of my kids and grandkids have no problems. Jesus says, stop worrying! He says, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness.” (Matthew 6:33) Care more about advancing His kingdom than my own kingdom.
Lord, forgive me! Take my hand and pull me out of the sand and set my feet on you, the Rock.
“He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord.” Psalm 40:2-3
Do you feel as if you are sinking today? Is something or someone slowly pulling you under? Does it seem as though our nation is slowing sinking?
Take a moment today to open God’s word to Matthew 5-7. Ask the Lord to align your life to His word. If there is any area of your life that is not set on His words, acknowledge it as sin, ask Him for forgiveness, and then choose to set your feet on the only one who will not sink!