The phrase that I stopped on today was "dug deep." All spring, a house has been under construction near our backyard. I watched from my bedroom window as the foundation was dug out using bulldozers and other heavy equipment. A well-built foundation holds the weight of the house and ensures that the walls are straight and everything holds together.
I have heard the story of the two houses since I was a child in Sunday school (read all the way through and you can share in the video remembrance). I've known that foundation = rock = Jesus is the formula for withstanding the trials and storms of life. I had never thought about the difficulty of digging deep to build a foundation. It's hard to dig into soil and make a big hole and empty it out and make it suitable for a concrete or rock foundation.
My favorite and most frustrating question in life is not "why", but "how". How do I build a solid foundation in my life and faith? Truth is to be the foundation of all I do, and John 14:1 says that Jesus IS the truth. So, part of foundation-building involves knowing and understanding the truth of the Bible for myself, and cultivating a relationship with Jesus in which I come to know Him better and better. Some truths are indisputable if I am to build a foundation based on Jesus: Jesus' divinity. His atoning death on the cross. The Trinity. The omnipotence of God. Some truths are less clear and open to interpretation: worship styles, the position of women in the church, the definition of modesty. My job as a believer is to go to the Lord and to the Bible and let God use Himself, His words, and the stories of wise people to build my firm foundation. I also need help to get rid of things in my foundation that will make it weak. As I realize that something I thought was true isn't, I need to dig it out and get rid of it.
Looking back at the passage, the "how" is clearly answered in the second sentence. If I am to build my foundation on a rock, I need to hear the words of Jesus and DO them. The hearing is easy. The doing is much harder. It's not enough to know that I should love my neighbor. I must, by my actions, show love to actual people. Meaning that my wishes, my plans, and my schedule are not sacrosanct. If the Bible says that my speech is to be gracious and without complaining, then I no longer have license for snark and criticism.
I am thankful that, unlike a building's foundation, which is build once and hopefully never needs repair again, my foundation is becoming (I hope) ever more solid as I learn more and more of the truth of Christ and obey more and more of His teachings.
As promised, the song (with the caveat that the second half of it is not exactly good theology, so consider yourself warned):