Michelle Wilshere: Are you living on unstable ground or solid rock?
While recently in California I drove the coast from Santa Monica to Laguna Beach. The normal route to travel down the coast is Highway 1. However, there are a few areas that the highway veers away from the coast and the view of the Pacific Ocean is lost. Since I was in no hurry this day, I took a detour that would allow me to view the ocean nearly the entire trip. The detour took me through Palos Verdes Estates and Ranchos Palos Verdes. Wow! I cannot put into words the beauty of this area that sits on a cliff overlooking the Pacific. It was a beautiful blue sky day, which just added to the splendor. The gently sloping Palos Verdes Hills above the ocean were filled with attractive houses, or rather mansions.
There were several curvy, slightly hilly areas of the detour road. Some of the road had been patched by freshly laid black top. I thought this odd as I would think the high tax base of the area would allow for full blacktopping, not just patching. On one of these curvy areas I was stopped because of construction, in fact for more of the blacktop patching. While at this standstill I noticed a sign, probably 2 feet by 3 feet, on the side of the road. This is part of what the sign stated: "This notice is given pursuant to California Civil Code ... This property is a danger to your health and safety. Among other things, it is located on ground which is in a continuous state of flux. Your use of the property is at your own risk. The owner shall not be liable, under any circumstances for any loss, cost, damage or expense of any nature, including, but not limited to, death or injury to you or your property."
With that information, now the blacktop patching made sense as well as the reason I was sitting in traffic waiting for more of the road to be patched. When I returned home, out of curiosity I looked up information regarding the Palos Verdes area. According to Wikipedia, Portuguese Bend, most likely the spot I was stopped on, is known to be "one of the most geologically unstable areas in the world. Constant shifting of the soil (approximately 1/3 of an inch a day) and rock slides mean that Palos Verdes Drive South, the main road through the bend, is under constant repair."
When I found this information I could not help but relate this to spiritual matters. I am so very thankful for the sure foundation that I am given in the Bible. God is the solid rock to those who have put their faith and trust in the finished work of Jesus on the cross of Calvary as everlasting payment for their sins. The stability of a Christian is rooted in the very nature of God, Who never changes. In Deuteronomy 32:4 "He is the rock, His work is perfect: for all His ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is He."
God is the Christian's sure foundation. He created the cosmos. Who better to cling to in this world of ever-shifting cultural norms, and ever-changing philosophical doctrine -- the "isms" that have come, gone, and changed over the centuries? The Bible calls us in Ephesians 4:14 to "be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive."
What wonderful promises in Psalm 46:2, 3 and 10 "Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though the water thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; be still and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth." Psalm 62:6-8 states, "He is only my rock and my salvation: He is my defense; I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. Trust in Him at all times; ye people pour out your heart before Him: God is a refuge for us."
There are so many people whose foundation is in a constant state of flux, who are searching for stable ground. They might attempt to find stable ground through a job, money, relationships or possessions. These will not last. If they cannot find the stable ground they search for, they may attempt to numb the unstableness of their lives through drugs, drinking, travel and entertainment. However, there is only one way to have peace and live on stable ground -- that is through Jesus Christ. Hebrews 13:8 states "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever."
Dear reader, Christ died for your sins and desires for you to trust in the rock of ages so that you will eternally stand on solid ground. You can live in assurance that even when life deals you a hard blow you have the sure promise of a home in heaven from the promise-keeper.
Jesus' final words in the Sermon on the Mount are recorded in Matthew 7:24-27. "Therefore whosoever heareth these saying of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which building his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it."
Are you living on sinking sand or a foundation of solid rock?
Wilshere lives in Dunbar.