When protests about racial justice began sweeping through the United States and the world, my prayers quickly shifted toward the church. I have been praying that the church, particularly the white church, would use this time to listen, learn, repent, and love. My hope is that we don’t just join in, but that we would become leaders in the discussion and engage whole-heartedly in racial reconciliation.
These protests were born out of anger and grief and adrenaline, which are all good things. I believe it’s been immensely healthy for us to look at the horrors that happen under our noses every single day. It’s been good to mourn and weep over daily injustices in the “land of the free.” But I know that the adrenaline will wear off at some point; fatigue will set in. Grief and anger can only propel us for so long.
In this season, my prayer has been that the church will rise up, knowing that the fight for equality and the lives of all people regardless of skin color is worthy and righteous. That this movement would be built upon a solid foundation, the Rock, and that we will be propelled forward with grace and truth, hope and love, and righteousness and justice. That the church will know and proclaim that our God is just and loves all people, no matter their race.
As I’ve been praying and processing during this time, I keep coming back to the parable that Jesus taught about the foolish and wise builders.
“As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.” Luke 6:47-49 (NIV)
I believe this season is revealing to many of us areas where we’ve built our lives on sand instead of the Rock. He is exposing where we are trusting in someone or something other than him with our lives. I also believe that this season is exposing those areas where we haven’t obeyed. He has been reminding us of times when we’ve heard the words of God, but haven’t put them into practice.
Before a family, a church, a business, a movement (or any other thing we create) can be built on the foundation of the Rock, we have to examine our own foundation. If I’m creating something or leading something, and my foundation is sandy, everything else will follow suit. If Jesus isn’t the foundation for my life, how can I expect to build anything else with him as the foundation?
This season is hard and heart-breaking. There’s so much pain and anguish in the world right now that it’s difficult to comprehend. But I believe that God is actively working—healing, revealing, restoring, and freeing. I believe that he is clearing away the sand and setting our feet on solid ground. He’s brushing away false beliefs and replacing them with truth. He’s turning our faces so we can see him more clearly.
In the midst of overwhelming hopelessness, I see an incredible opportunity for the goodness of God to be displayed to the world through the lives of those who love God. What an incredible moment for the church to be the church and lead in little and big ways! We have an opportunity to build our lives on the Rock, on Jesus, by listening and doing what he says in every area of our lives. May we not let this moment pass us by!
How has the Lord revealed the state of your foundation in this season?
What does “building your life on the Rock” mean to you?