Jacob and I turned into the driveway of the house. It had been for sale for quite a while, and the price had been reduced a few times. Climbing out of the truck it was easy to see why. The house seemed to huddle sadly behind overgrown bushes that had once been ornaments. It would have been difficult to tell what its intended use was if it hadn’t been in a neighborhood. When I showed a picture to a friend, he asked if it was a boat shed.
We walked into the doorway crowded with trash and noted the once bright mosaic tile on the walls. Then we removed the padlock that had been crudely attached to an oversized carved wooden door that must have been glorious in its time. With flashlights, we went room to room surveying what had been a beautiful custom home, but was now a disaster area. In the living room, the hardwood floors that had been painstakingly installed were buckled upwards over a foot in two places. Strewn over the floors was the evidence of lives lived within the ramshackle remains of what had been called home by someone. There were toys, clothes, and tons of books throughout each room. Loose pictures and whole photo albums scattered here and there showed smiling, nameless faces.
The neglect to do maintenance was most obvious in the failed roof. Uncared for, the roof that had once protected the family from the elements, now let in wind, rain, summer heat, and winter cold. Weather had defaced the house more than the scavenging looters who recklessly tore things of value from their roots, or the delinquents who had spread profanity with spray paint and pointless destruction.
In the backyard, sections of the fence lay where the wind had forgotten them. Several large, sturdy planters held only weeds. I wondered about the bright flowers and vegetables whose cultivation had graced those planters. The wings of the house curled around a broad courtyard that boasted a large fountain. As we pushed our way through the overgrowth, I heard something pass near my ear. Then it happened again. It was then I noticed bees going in and out of a hole in the eaves. Retreating from there, and leaving the bees their courtyard, we re-traced our steps.
The original impression of the house was very grim. But, we looked again and began to look closely at the foundation. The heavy vegetation made it difficult to see, but our persistence out-matched its masking. The foundation was good. Whoever built the house took care to start well and right. From the only true starting point, we saw that the bones of the house, the studs, and the rafters were not destroyed. They needed work, help and some replacement, but there was plenty to work with.
What about your foundation? If the Holy Spirit were to inspect your building, what would He discover? Would He find that you have built your life on the foundation of Christ? John 3:16 (ESV) says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” Have you believed? If so, then you have begun your building with the only true and lasting foundation.
Many times, through the demands of life, those of us who have the right foundation neglect the integrity of what is built upon it. Maybe your house has been struck by storms (divorce, loss of a job, or a death in the family). If that is the case, just like the looters who stole things of value from that house, things have been stolen from you. Satan will and does attack where He can. He can do nothing to our Christ, but he can do great damage in the life of a believer who neglects maintenance.
Maybe the state of your house has nothing to do with storms but only the affairs of life (getting ahead at work, involvement in recreational activities to the exclusion of important things, or even deep involvement in good things to exclusion of the best things). The state of the roof of your house might be like the one in this story. Maintaining a roof best takes place on clear days. Days when the worker can see everything well. This way he can tell what’s good and what needs attention. These clear days are also days that we are drawn to other, more fun, activities.
1 Corinthians 3:10-15 (ESV): According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.
The Apostle Paul wrote the previous passage to believers in a church he had started, but that had trouble deciding what direction to follow as a congregation and as individual believers. False teachers came in leading them away from the teaching about Christ and Him crucified. Paul carefully reminded them that the foundation is only, always Jesus Christ. While many teachers can, like a builder, add to the life of a Christian, the beginning is Jesus. This is an encouragement to those of us that like the house above, have a good foundation but have fallen into disrepair.
So, pick up your toolbox (your Bible), and go to work. Read it, join a Bible study, get involved in a church. If all this talk of foundations doesn’t make sense, realize this: we are all sinners and fall short of the glory of God. But, God did something to take away our sins. He gave us His Son. Confess your sins and trust that Jesus takes away the penalty of our sins. Then connect with other believers. Contact Brodie or the person who got you involved with Blast & Cast. That is what we are here for. Your house is not lost, it just needs maintenance. Just like ours.
*Today’s post was written by Troy Lindgram.