The wise woman builds her house; But the foolish tears it down with her own hands. Proverbs 14:1
Jesus liked to teach in "parables": stories/metaphors that teach a lesson. One of my favorites is found at the end of the famous "Sermon on the Mount". Read it in Jesus' own words:
Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: he is like a man [woman] building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the ROCK. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built.
But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man [woman] who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great. Luke 6:47-49
What does that mean for us moms who are "building our houses" as we raise our children...and as we launch them into adult life? WHO is the ROCK that Jesus is talking about?
Throughout the Old Testament, God is called a ROCK:
Trust in the LORD forever, For in GOD the LORD, we have an everlasting Rock. Isaiah 26: 4
Jesus, the Son of God, names Himself as the ROCK.
When Peter made his famous profession of faith, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God,” Jesus replied, “You are Peter (little stone), and upon this ROCK (large rock, bed-rock) I will build my church.” Matthew 16:16-18
Paul confirms this in his letter to the Corinthians:
…For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 3: 10-15
Now the very practical question: What does it mean as a mom to build upon the Rock that is Christ?
Of course, knowing, living, and then teaching our children the Word of God and God's way of salvation is paramount. But in 2003, I experienced, in what was to me a very dramatic way, what it means to build upon the ROCK that is Christ.
Our daughter Beth was a junior at University of Dayton, majoring in Art History. She was taking an archaeology class at the time. Beth came home one day and said that the professor had invited her, based on some research work she had done in that class, to join a group of college students from the around the country. They would be going on an archaeological dig in Sicily during the summer to the exact site that she had researched.
Needless to say, it freaked me out! To go that far away, with no one I know...probably no mature Christians, etc, etc! But I had been learning through some serious health crises (Jeremy's cancer, Beth's benign tumors, etc) to entrust my children totally to the Lord. So Beth put in for a grant to fund the trip (because we told her we could give her a wedding or a trip to Sicily:), and we prayed for God's will. I knew I couldn't stand in the way of God's will for her life.
Well guess what? Not only did she get the grant, but UD offered her more money than what she applied for. Now what college ever does that? To me, it was a confirmation that the Lord was in this no matter how nervous I was about it.
In the meantime, I had been teaching through the Hebrew Names of God. A cross-reference had captured my imagination. Writing of the Israelites traveling through the wilderness in the book of Exodus, Paul says,
…our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and all ate the same spiritual food; and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the Rock was Christ! 1 Corinthians 10: 1-4
What did that mean...the Rock that followed them was Christ? I would soon find out.
Back to Beth...she was going. I was praying and trusting. At our kinship days before her departure, we worshiped the Lord and sang the beautiful song Faithful One. The lyrics grabbed me:
Faithful One, so unchanging Ageless One, You’re my Rock of Peace Lord of all, I depend on You I call out to You, again and again I call out to You, again and again
You are my Rock, in times of trouble You lift me up when I fall down All through the storm Your love is the anchor My hope is in You alone
The Holy Spirit spoke to my heart: "I will be the ROCK that follows Beth from Columbus to NYC to Rome to Sicily, all around Sicily and wherever she travels, back to Rome, to NYC, to Columbus, and safely home again.
I had perfect peace! We took her to the Columbus airport and I could freely and confidently entrust her to her ROCK! I shared the Scripture and the message from the Lord with her before she left. And whenever I emailed Beth or talked to her, I said "Remember your Rock!"
When Beth returned, she told us of a time she ended up at the end of the bus-line and had to "follow the river" alone in the dark to make her way back to her apartment. She was scared but sensed a Presence...because the ROCK that followed her was Christ.
Let me encourage you, dear moms.. When anxieties arise over your children’s welfare, remind yourself and them that the “Rock that follows them (and you) is the Lord Jesus Christ”. Turn every event on your day’s calendar into a fresh opportunity to depend on your Everlasting Rock.
ALL TO US Chris Tomlin
Precious cornerstone, sure foundation You are faithful to the end We are waiting, on You, Jesus We believe You're all to us
Let the glory of Your name be the passion of the Church Let the righteousness of God be a holy flame that burns Let the saving love of Christ be the measure of our lives We believe You're all to us
Only Son of God sent from Heaven Hope and mercy at the cross You are everything, You're the Promise Jesus, You are all to us
You're all to us You're all to us You're all to us Yes, You are
When this passing world is over We will see You face to face And forever we will worship Jesus, You are all to us