Firm Foundations

“Then I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow your house down.” The wolf’s famous words in the story “The Three Little Pigs” always made me grin because I knew the end of the story. I understood that the pig who built his house with bricks was the smart, hardworking one and that a house should be constructed on a firm foundation with materials that are solid and sure.

Matthew 7:24-27 has long remained one of my favorite Bible stories: “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

I remember sitting in a circle in my Sunday School class as my teacher taught this scripture on a flannel board. One house was perched on a rock, the other a pile of sand. In the sky were pictures of wind, rain, and lightning. We knew what was going to happen as the elements attempted to destroy the houses. The image of the house cemented on the rock remained in my mind as I became an adult and pursued making Christ the strong foundation on which I built my life. It has helped me weather many storms while feeling safe and secure.

I may not have always made the correct decisions and my faith may have wavered a time or two, but the overreaching belief in the safety of God always had me racing to perch behind the walls of brick. I’m thankful I learned the truth during the calm season in my life because I needed the assurance in the chaos.

In the recesses of my mind, I believed that once I reached a certain age, I would have acquired wisdom and my life would be relatively peaceful. Surprise! I enter the new year surrounded by unknowns from change and the wind, rain, and lightning rage around my house. I’m perched in the middle of a lake with no dock to steer the boat. All that I relied on to be a constant in my life is unsettled, has vanished, or is rapidly changing. 

So, I return to a children’s story to reset my thinking. I trust in the words spoken in Matthew 7. I claim what I know to be true. I pause my unrest and steady my feet on the firm foundation. I press into Jesus as tight as I can and ask him to quiet the storm. I sit down in assurance behind my brick walls, grab a Diet Dr. Pepper, and shout, “You can huff and puff, but you will not blow my house down!” 

Which little pig are you? Is your house built out of straw, sticks, or bricks? 

About Shelley Pulliam

Howdy! (A girl from Oklahoma has to use this as her greeting) I’m Shelley Pulliam, executive director of Arise Ministries and former teacher of hormone-filled 8th graders. But my real claim to fame rests in my award as second grade spelling bee champ and my recent gun-handling skills as I train to competition shoot. It helps me be on guard when Satan comes knocking. I’m a voracious reader and can frequently be found at the theater enjoying movie marathons where my record stands at six in one day. I’m a single, never married, who loves to pour into children at every opportunity. Let me know if you have any for sale.