Miss Tilly must have been 200 years old when we met. I was eight. Our elementary girls’ mission group from church picked her up one Saturday and took her to the park for a picnic. The skin on her arms seemed to move in waves like the pendulum of a clock, far more animated than the rest of her body. Her face only had a nose as far as I could remember. A walker and all 200 years had slowed her to a crawl.
The picnic was fun, and most of the girls squealed to the drama of slide and swings. But I studied our guest from a mid-creek vantage point. After a sufficient time of activity, we all gathered to hear Miss Tilly talk. She told the Bible story about a wise man who built his house on the rock and a foolish man who built his on the sand. I could see the two houses, one on the mountain of my imagination and the other on a blob of sand. Although I loved both dirt and sand, from that time forward I decided to build my house on a rock.
A life built on the firmness of Christ is a house built on the rock. But sometimes when the rain comes, the streams rise, and the winds blow and beat the house, we can feel like there’s nothing left but a cracked foundation hidden somewhere amid the floods of incoming sand. What was a grand and solid structure that we spent all our time and energy building, suddenly gets the roof ripped off when tragedy strikes. Circumstances cloud our view and can make us question if there was ever a rock to rest on in the first place.
When the walls and roof cave in, when the power goes out and we wander in the dark, it’s time to remember that if the foundation really is firm, the house will rise again. Some days all we can do is watch the process, trusting our Savior is still at work. Other times we can join Him as together we sweep out the sand, pump out the water, and remove the tree limbs. In the end, we’ll stand on the mountain, not of our imagination but in unveiled reality, and realize that the Master has built the house our heart has always desired.
Father, I want to be like Miss Tilly. Her body weakened and her mind sometimes didn’t grasp the concepts she once maneuvered with ease but she remembered the wise man and she shared him with me. She also built her life on the rock so her foundation remained in tact. Life with a walker and constant assistive care looks at first to be a waste, but she built walls everyday. She constructed architectural wonders from her foundation on You. I am a tiny part of her building and I thank You for her. Again, help me to build as she did. Send someone today I can speak life into.