When I was a child in Sunday School, we sang the song “The Wise Man Built His House Upon The Rock.”

The wise man built his house upon the rock

The wise man built his house upon the rock

The wise man built his house upon the rock

And the rain came tumbling down

Oh, the rain came down

And the floods came up

The rain came down

And the floods came up

The rain came down

And the floods came up

And the wise man’s house stood firm.

The foolish man built his house upon the sand

The foolish man built his house upon the sand

The foolish man built his house upon the sand

And the rain came tumbling down

Oh, the rain came down

And the floods came up

The rain came down

And the floods came up

The rain came down

And the floods came up

And the foolish man’s house went “splat!”

Earlier this summer we had the opportunity to visit Sleeping Bear Dunes located in northwestern lower Michigan along the eastern shoreline of Lake Michigan. After hiking through this beautiful area, I had a much better understanding of that song I sang so long ago as a child and God taught me a few lessons as I walked.

Wet sand is much easier to walk in than dry sand. In the same way, if my relationship with Christ becomes dry, it may require a firmer foundation. That foundation may come in the form of rain and disappointment in my life, but my foundation becomes firmer through those times of hardship. Or I may turn to Him more often, seek him, focus on my relationship with Him to help make my foundation firmer.  Sometimes the sand shifted so much that going uphill required getting on hands and knees. There are times in my life when the sands beneath my feet are shifting and I cannot get good footing, then I need to get down on hands and knees and keep my focus on the top of the hill.

sand 1

I learned hiking in sand was easier if I put my feet in the footprints of people who had gone ahead of me. In the same way, I am grateful for parents and grandparents with faith who went ahead of me and taught me how to be a faithful follower of Christ.

Shifting sands creates an ever-changing landscape and makes it very difficult for plants to find a way to dig deep roots. However, every so often we would see the beauty of a flower and I would realize how deep the roots had to go for the plant to survive. Again, it’s the same for me, if I dig my roots down deep and withstand the harsh experiences of life, I will have the beauty  of Christ shining through me that is unmatched by the world around us.

sand 2

As we reached the top of a dune, we could see the lake and it seemed so close, but we could also see the multitude of dunes between us and the lake and we wondered if we could get over them to reach the lake. Often I can see the joy, the delight of a life with Christ, but between that and me I also see the hard times. Those things that rob our joy and we wonder if we can get there.

Stopping, resting, taking a drink of water and pouring sand out of my shoes were all necessary parts of the hike. In the same way, there are times when I need to stop, empty my life of things that are hindering me in my walk with Christ and drinking in the refreshing words of the Bible and rest in Him. Then I can get up, take a deep breath and continue until I feel that cool breeze on my face and the refreshing water on my feet realizing the difficulty of the hike was worth the reward.

by Linda Tigges

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