Have you ever felt like your entire life was on fire?
We’re not talking about a cozy fireplace with roasting marshmallows or a grease fire shooting out of an oily pan.
It’s a wildfire, angry and violent and spreading, billowing out at a breakneck pace to consume everything in its path. It’s utter devastation.
I’ve been there and it hurts. There’s no escape. When I was in the midst of such a time, I imagined my faith had been a house caught in the blaze sweeping through my life. I stood with smoke-filled lungs and crisped skin, staring at the charred remains.
As I pondered on my “Come, Follow Me” study this week, this image came back to my mind when I re-read Christ’s beloved simile of the man who built his house upon a rock:
Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like:
He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.
I thought of it because of another sight that came to my mind, a comical image but one that felt oddly inspired to relieve the great tension and drama I felt trapped in.
It was night and I had parked my car on a random street near my home. I prayed to God and told him of my burned house of faith and how terrible the loss felt to me.
As I pondered, I suddenly saw another figure, kneeling in the midst of the rubble. It was Satan and he was furiously frustrated. Upon further examination, I realized he was trying to destroy the foundation of my house, made of a single block of hard stone, which had been untouched by the fire.
In his hands was a simple, little butter knife. He used it to strike the stone underneath the remains of the house again and again. It was clearly a futile effort.
Sitting in my car that night, I started laughing. The sight was ridiculous, but I felt a sense of power calm me. Much had been destroyed and I had been burned. Yet, I was assured by the knowledge that I had built my life upon the sure stone of Jesus Christ and Satan could not destroy it. Not only could he not destroy it, but his efforts were not to be feared.
After all, what could a little butterknife do against a solid stone?
As we sing the simple song, “The Wise Man Built His House Upon a Rock,” we may forget how truly powerful and important this teaching is. It may seem like nothing more than a child’s song. Yet, through this experience in my life, I’ve come to know just how essential it is.