by Susan Sampson

Recently my husband saw what he thought were mice droppings in a drawer in our kitchen.  I have an irrational fear of mice.  We had mice several years ago, but we remodeled our kitchen and I thought that problem had been solved.  I was immediately sick to my stomach and started crying so Jeff tried to convince me they were just burnt food pieces off the oven mitts.  Then the other morning as I was making breakfast, I saw mouse droppings in the food pantry and again began to panic.  Jeff said he didn’t think they were in there so I looked again and then actually saw a mouse on the shelf!  My heart was pounding and I was fighting the tears again.

As he was wondering where they were getting in, I suddenly remembered years ago when we did our remodel seeing a small hole in the wall of the pantry which I’m now thinking never got closed up. I didn’t even remember this hole was there, but the mice have silently crept in and have been causing destruction to the food in our pantry little by little.

All our thinking must be built on the Word of God, on the truth of His Word, or else it is sand.  If not, there are holes and the structure will not be able to stand. Feelings are sand.  The waves of our circumstances are not solid ground.

Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.  And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.  And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.  And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it. (Matt. 7:24-27)

I am really weak in the area of my thought life.  I so easily allow my thoughts to wander and spiral.  I do more listening to myself talk than I do speaking truth to myself.  I want to take God’s Word seriously.  I want to dwell in Christ and on His Word and no longer on how I feel moment by moment.  That is sinking sand.

I desperately need the grace of God to enable me to obey His word in Philippians 4:8-9.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.  What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me – practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

I could probably recite this verse somewhat accurately from memory, but I do not do this moment by moment day by day.  I know I dwell more on “what if.”  The “what if’s” aren’t truth.  They are sand.  They will cause us to drown and our house to fall.

I also see that God’s Word tells me not just on what to think but also to practice what I’ve learned (Phil. 4:9).  In many ways I do not do this.  But most painfully the Lord is revealing to me how I’m not completely honoring all of God’s Word with respect to the Scriptures of how I am to treat my husband.  I have put myself before him.  I have not considered him more highly than myself.  I have not loved him as myself.  I have allowed my feelings to be more important than my husband.  This is not the gospel. This is building on sand.

But there is good news.  Because 2000 years ago, the Son of God chose to humble himself and become obedient to death on a cross out of His great love for us, all the wrath I deserve for my disobedience and idolatry was poured out on Him instead of me!

…and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. (2 Cor. 5:15)

Lord, help us to see the cross of Christ, to see our sin upon our Savior, and to be grieved into repentance (2 Cor. 7:9).  May we turn from our sin of building on the sand and turn in faith to the Rock, Jesus Christ.  As we see Him carry His cross to Calvary on our behalf, may we, by your Spirit, be compelled to pick up our cross and put our selves to death and follow Him, the Chief Cornerstone, in humble surrender. Thank you, Jesus, for bringing us near by the blood of your cross.  In your name we ask this, Amen.

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