“These words I speak to you are not incidental additions to your life, homeowner improvements to your standard of living. They are foundational words, words to build a life on. If you work these words into your life, you are like a smart carpenter who built his house on solid rock. Rain poured down, the river flooded, a tornado hit—but nothing moved that house. It was fixed to the rock. But if you just use my words in Bible studies and don’t work them into your life, you are like a stupid carpenter who built his house on the sandy beach. When a storm rolled in and the waves came up, it collapsed like a house of cards.” Matthew 7:24-27

A couple of months ago, the newspaper I have delivered on Sundays placed a “paper box” underneath my mailbox. I was happy, because this meant that the carrier could no longer blame my lack of a Sunday paper on roving dogs.

About two weeks ago, I noticed that a little bird mama was happy about that paper box, too. She had built a nest and laid some eggs, safely tucked away in the rear of the box. It was perfect, or so she thought: waterproof, windproof, and hidden away from predators.

Except, it seems, the predator known as the newspaper deliver person.

The first week after I noticed the nest, the driver (who had not) had shoved the Sunday paper full force into the box. The week after that, I began to receive sticky notes on my regular mail from our rural delivery person, advising me to move the nest. There were eggs inside, so I was hesitant. But my husband surmised that the bird (possibly traumatized by being trapped in her nest by a giant newspaper) had already abandoned ship.

She thought it was the perfect place to roost, and it was – until trouble came. Then, it became a death trap.

The foolish man who built his house on the sand in Jesus’ parable thought his was the perfect spot too. Beachfront property! He probably enjoyed lying in bed at night, listening to the waves crash and smelling the salty breeze.

It was the perfect place to roost – until trouble came. Then, it became a death trap.

We humans think we build our lives on the perfect foundations, too. Money, prestige, manicured lawns, and Pinterest-worthy decor all look good – until trouble comes. Then, all those things we hold dear become death traps, crushing us underneath.

Jesus urged his followers to build their lives on the one thing that will never be shaken, will never be moved, will never cease to exist – His word. When trouble comes, it will not cause us even more heartache. It will be the sure thing we can count on.

Are we like the mama bird, or the beachfront homebuilder, or are we rock solid? Take time today to take stock of your foundation – before trouble comes.