Friday, June 24, 2011

Houses Built on Sand

I saw him staggering across the beach as I packed up our chairs at the end of a great day of vacation. Soon he was not just staggering, he was vomiting into the sand. He slowly made his way over the walkway through the sand dunes, stopping to relieve his lurching stomach every few steps. As I followed a few steps behind, I realized that he was drunk. He finally sat down on the steps to the boardwalk and continued to discharge the contents of his stomach off to the side, in full view of the many who were walking by.

Finally his father found him and tried to move him over to a more discreet place where he could finish emptying himself of massive amounts of alcohol. But it was hard not to overhear the conversation between father and son. The father kept saying, "Puke over here out of the way" and the son kept saying "Dad, you have never been there for me." It did not seem to bother the father that the son had drunk so much that he was puking, it only seemed to bother him that the son was puking in front of others. The son did not seem to understand that his father was trying to help him, even if only with part of the problem.

As my family passed by the sad scene, I said to my own adult son, "I hope we never have a conversation like that." He assured me that we would not. We saw that young man several other times during our recent vacation at the beach, and it became painfully obvious that excessive amounts of drinking was only one of that young man's many issues.

As I reflect upon that situation, I cannot help but think about the story Jesus told in the Gospel of Matthew 7:24-27. That story illustrates in a powerful way that if we build our lives on the Rock of Christ, then when difficulties come, we will find the strength to endure. But if we build our lives on the shifting sands of human opinion and what feels good in the moment, then when difficulties come, life falls apart. That young man, though barely launched into adulthood, is living a life that is already falling apart. It is a challenge to those of us who claim to know Jesus to build our lives on His Word, empowered by His Spirit and in a way that conforms us to His image.

Lord, help us build our lives on the eternal Rock of Christ!

For more devotionals like this one, consider Touching the Footprints of Jesus


  1. Turns out, I too have seen the afore mentioned young man. I remember looking over and asking GOD what to think about him. See, my initial "fleshy" reaction was to be judgemental. To see the young man as less-than. GOD was in no way pleased by my initial thoughts. Thankfully, the LORD decided to bring me closer, so that I could think and see as our FATHER does.
    So I asked,"What is going on?"
    GOD said, "He is miserable."
    I was overcome with complete sadness. GOD said, "Haven't you ever seen what miserable looks like?" I said, "Yes."
    "Yes,I have several times."
    "I have lived it."
    Then, I started praying and caring. A definite heart-change. GOD also let me know that the one difference between this young man and myself was GOD.
    And I began to ponder how old the man must be, and what would have gone on in my own life if I had not accepted GOD's hand when HE stretched it out to me.
    One answer, "Miserable."
    So, I pray for this young man. And no I don't know his name. But GOD does, right? Please join me in prayer for him. That our GOD's hand would extend to the young man. And when GOD does extend HIS hand, that the young man would not reject HIM. In Jesus Name.
    Our GOD changes lives! Amen? HE DOES :)

  2. Many families are falling apart. All the efforts to 'educate' people into goodness do not work. People must repent, trust Jesus and be filled with the Spirit in order to overcome problems like this.

  3. Sadly, there is a whole generation of young adults who think this is "normal" behavior. What will our nation do when those young adults assume leadership?

  4. Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits- who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion,
    Psalm 103:3-4