Bible Verse: “The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” (Psalm 18:2)

Scripture Reading: Matthew 7:24-27

The reality of thousands dead or missing is a massive aftershock of major earthquakes. Among the wreckage and debris from fallen buildings, there also remains the eerie image of buildings about to drop. Visible structural damage renders them uninhabitable and provides an open invitation for the wrecking ball to complete the collapse.

How strange that amidst all the destruction, some structures still stand tall and firm. As if to mock the power of shaking ground, they poke their unblemished noses in the air, remaining unmoved. After the quakes, buildings were either rubble, wrecked, or regal.

Have you ever noticed that life is very much like a building in an earthquake? Prior to the ground moving, almost any structure can look good and appear adequate. A coat of paint or a framed picture can hide flaws and holes just as a fake smile can cover a painful inner hollow. A finely decorated facility can sell for big dollars one day only to lie trashed the next. The same is true with a so-called “all together” life. But things change when the ground moves.

Many people with lots of gold, glamour and glory have hit the dust when life dealt them a shakedown. “If only” is the common refrain from their moan of misery but by then it is too late.

The only guarantee for buildings to survive an earthquake is to have adequate foundations and reinforced structures. The only guarantee for lives to survive the major shakedowns in life comes from the same thing. We all need an adequate life foundation and reinforced structures.

May I be so bold as to make some personal application? If your life stands tall, secure and happy today, enjoy it. Cherish every moment of stability because (and I’m speaking as a realist, not a pessimist) the chances are, it will not last. Life is full of accidents, storms, crimes, unwanted events and consequences. And when they hit without warning, the shakedown that ensues will crumble all that is not secure.

The best strategy for securing life is to make sure our foundation is solid. Now don’t be fooled. Money, position, connections, reputation, looks, sports statistics, philosophy and good living mean absolutely nothing in a shakedown. Earthquakes kill good people, bad people, the rich and poor alike.

The only proven foundation that enables a life to withstand catastrophe in this life and the next is the one nicknamed, “Rock of Ages.” As creator of the universe and suffering Saviour, Jesus Christ promises to provide complete stability to withstand the most intense shakedowns life can bring our way.

I realize some will reject this advice for a multitude of reasons, just like some builders bypass building codes. Nevertheless, the fact remains: buildings with a solid foundation and structure survive earthquakes; lives built on Jesus Christ survive the shakedowns of life. It just hurts so badly to see all the unnecessary pain and loss.

— Dave Petrescue in Pastor Dave’s Reflections. Copyright © Brenda Petrescue, 2008. Used by permission

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