Like many people during the summer, my family takes an annual vacation to the beach. I absolutely love the beach. The sounds of the seagulls and waves crashing in and slowly rolling out, the sight of couples holding hands taking romantic strolls and breath taking sunsets stretching across the sky, the feel of the warm sun on my skin and the squishy wet sand underneath my feet are all the things I love about the beach.
However, as juvenile as it may be my most favorite thing to do at the beach is to build sandcastles. I am a grown adult in my thirties, but I am not too old to pull out a purple pail and tiny yellow shovel to create a masterpiece. And what would my master castle be without the perfect seashells to adorn it?
Ah, yes, this lends to my second favorite beach activity which is finding seashells. This year though as I look to find the perfect sea shells, I notice how most of them are broken but still beautiful, still useful to adorn my castle. I am immediately reminded of my story of grace, and my mind starts to wander towards the things of God. I am also broken and tarnished, but still useable and adored with love.
As I start walking back to my castle site, my thoughts are disturbed by the realization of how unpleasant it is to walk in wet sand. The ground is slanted, and its wetness is causing my feet to constantly sink, making my calf muscles burn and ache.
It is during this moment that the chorus of an old hymn comes to mind, “On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand” (Written by Edward Mote 1837).
It is a catchy tune and I begin to hum it as I continue to build my sandcastle. The more I hum the chorus and repeat the only part of the song I truly know, I begin to really think of what the words mean.
The song is referring to a parable in the Bible where Jesus tells a story of two different men building a house (Matthew 7:24-29). One man built his house on a solid rock foundation, so that when the winds blew and the rain fell, his house was not destroyed. The other man unfortunately built his house on a foundation of sand, and when the storms came it began to sink and caused his house to collapse.
Jesus then clarifies the metaphor stating that He is the rock and that by following and listening to Him, we will be standing on solid ground throughout the storms of life.
As I stood looking at my beautiful yet fragile sandcastle, I couldn’t help but think of the truth of Jesus’ words. My own little castle would not even last through the night. How could I ever expect anything other than Jesus to be the foundation in my own life? So many things in life are uncertain and constantly change no matter the hours or years of planning and preparing.