Just the other day, another sinkhole cropped up in the Tampa, Florida area mere miles from a massive one that swallowed and killed a man the week before.
37-year-old Jeff Bush, was sleeping – he believed – safely in his bed when the earth beneath his bedroom opened wide and devoured him. What an astonishing and tragic moment that was.
The sinkhole tragedy got me thinking about how so often we stand on what we believe is terra firma only to discover it’s no more sound or sturdy than a marshy bog. We put our faith in career, only to have our positions eliminated or promotions denied. We place hopes in marriages, only to have our spouses abandon us for someone else. We pride ourselves on our beauty and physical strength, only to have that deteriorate with age and time.
For all we know, we’re but one sinkhole away from disaster any given day — almost.
The 19th century pastor and hymn writer Edward Mote wrote, “My hope is build on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.” Later in that hymn Mote added, “On Christ the solid rock I stand all other ground is sinking sand.”
The apostle Paul, in his letter to the Corinthians, uses that same imagery in his description of Christ when he writes, “They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.” (1 Cor. 10:3/4)
No, there aren’t many things we can count on. Songwriter Benard Ighner had that much right when he wrote those famous lyrics, “Everything must change, nothing stays the same.” Most things are much more flimsy than we expect and not nearly so sound a foundation as we imagine.
What are as firm today as they were a couple thousand years ago are Jesus’ words. In chapter 7 of his book, Matthew reminds us what Jesus said about heeding His words. He says, “They are foundational words, words to build a life on. If you work these words into your life, you are like a smart carpenter who built his house on solid rock. Rain poured down, the river flooded, a tornado hit—but nothing moved that house. It was fixed to the rock.” (msg)
There’s no sinkhole in that.
(c) Copyright 2013, Jonathan Clarke, All rights reserved