When I was a child, we used to sing, “The wise man built his house upon the rock… The rains came down and the floods went up… And the house on the rock stood firm.” Of course there was the verse where the house of the man man who built on the sand went splat! The song was taken from the parable of Jesus in Matthew 7:24-27. Jesus spoke of the importance of having a good foundation in construction, in life, or in anything really.
If you’re going to build anything, it’s only as good as the foundation it’s on. Ive read that when they build skyscrapers, they usually have to dig down until they hit bedrock. Sometimes they have to dig up to 150 feet so they can build it on a firm foundation. If they don’t do that, nothing else matters. When the winds hit it or any other storm does, it will come crashing down. You are I are building more than a skyscraper. Were building a life.
Storms are going to come. We will all experience them. That’s why having such a good foundation is important. Proverbs 10:25 says, “When the storms of life come, the wicked are whirled away, but the godly have a lasting foundation” (NLT). Storms not only test what you’re built on, they reveal it. Even if a storm wipes out everything you’ve built, if you have a sure foundation, you can build again.
So how do we build a strong foundation that lasts? Before Jesus told the parable, He said, “Anyone who listens to my teachings and follows it is wise, like a man who built his house on solid rock.” It’s not enough to just hear or know what Jesus said. You have to obey it and live it out. You can build your life on God’s Word because after heaven and earth pass away, His Word will still remain. It is truth. It is life. It is a firm foundation that won’t give way when the storms come.
In 1997, I was the director of a preschool. On February 10th, there was a terrible storm that was raging outside. When I looked out the window, the rain was going parallel with the ground. I yelled to all the teachers to get their kids to the hallway for shelter. After about 30 minutes the storm died down. I called to check on my mom, who was battling cancer. She said, “What storm?” Exasperated, I asked, “Are you kidding? We just had a tornado go over us!”
She called out to my uncle who was there with her to ask him about the storm. He was dumbfounded too. He asked, “Has it been raining?” I told them to look outside. Every house that had property touching theirs had trees down. Some had them crashed through their roofs. When they walked out into their yard, there wasn’t even a limb on the ground. It was like there was a bubble over the yard. God knew the storm we were about to endure and spared us from having to deal with house and property damage.
God doesn’t give us a trouble free life. He doesn’t stop storms from raging all around us, but He does protect us in them. Just like He did for my parent’s yard, He can give us peace in the storm. He can protect you from the damaging affects of it. The rain in your life may be going sideways and there may be tornadoes overhead, but God protects His people in times of trouble. He is a shelter to all who call on Him. The storms can destroy everything around you, but if you trust in Him, He will be by your side through it.
Nahum 1:7 says, “The Lord is good; he protects his people in times of trouble; he takes care of those who turn to him” (GNT). The writer is very clear that we are not exempt from times of trouble. He wants us to know that we have somewhere to go in those times. Just like I took the kids to the safest place in the building, our safest place is with God. He is our shelter and protector. He will walk with you through whatever you’re going through today. You don’t have to face it alone. Turn to Him and ask for His protection. He’s better than any storm shelter you will find.
I was driving east this morning through some rain. When I finally got to turn to the south, I looked back over my right shoulder to check for cars and I saw a rainbow. My mind went back to Genesis 9 where the Bible records the first rainbow. God gave it as a sign to Noah and his family as a symbol of the covenant He had made with him. Then in verse 16, God said, “When I see the rainbow in the clouds, I will remember the eternal covenant.”
I always knew it was for us to remember the covenant, but I don’t remember reading that it was for God too. I think it’s interesting that God placed it as a reminder for Himself. It makes me think that God goes around looking for rainbows so He can think of the promise He made to us. I don’t think He forgets. I think He’s just looking for a reason to think of me and you.
We get so caught up in the storms of our life that we lose sight of Him sometimes. When the rain is relentless and won’t stop, when all of the mountains that we’ve climbed are covered by the waters and when the floods won’t dissipate, we can remember God’s promises to us. We can remember that He has not forgotten us or left us. Even though it rained in Noah’s life and He was stuck on that boat for over a year, what happened beforehand was important.
God spoke to Noah and prepared him for the flood. He told him that it would rain for forty days and forty nights. He also gave him the instructions for building the ark. He didn’t have him go into the storm unprepared. He had given him everything he needed to survive the storm. God does that for us too. He gives us what we need and prepares us for the rain in our lives. He provides a way to get through it.
I wonder what Noah was thinking after the rain stopped and he was still in the lifeboat ten months later. God told him how long it would rain, but didn’t tell him how long he would have to drift along. Even after the storms and rains in our lives, we tend to drift along looking for dry land. When we eventually do find it, it’s a different place than where we were. God uses the rain and the drifting to get us to a place where He wants us. We, like Noah may have to start over too.
Wherever your dry land is, know that God will remain true to His promises to you. He’s out putting rainbows in the sky to show you He hasn’t forgotten or forsaken you. He’s painting the sky to remind you when future storms come that He’s not going to let you be destroyed. He has prepared you for what you’re going through and is preparing you for your future. If it’s raining in your life right now, you’re drifting along or if you have found dry land, take time to look for rainbows. God is.