As we find ourselves with this unanticipated “stormy sabbatical,” it gives us time to reflect on the different storms that will come our way. Storms are a part of life. Sometimes, we are able to see them coming like hurricanes that travel across the Atlantic Ocean from the western coast of Africa. There are other times, however, when storms come out of nowhere like an unpredictable tornado that creates chaos with different twists and turns. Storms can be frightening and unpredictable. Even with this reality, God did not promise any of us a storm-free existence. Therefore, Morris Brown, the question that we must ask ourselves is what will we do when the storms come?
This is the same reality that confronts two men, in a parable, in the gospel of Matthew. These two men have some things in common. They are building houses around the same time, and they live in the same geographical area. Consequently, they most likely have access to the same building materials. However, the thing that separates these two men is that one of them who is distinguished as the “wise builder” takes into account that the storm is coming. However, the “foolish builder” does not. In Ancient Palestine, there were two primary seasons: the dry season and the rainy season.
Houses were built during the dry season, but a wise builder had to keep in mind that his house would have to withstand the storms that would come during the rainy season. The wise builder, in this parable, understands this existence, therefore, he builds his house on a foundation that is able to withstand the storm. This fact is attested to by Jesus when HE says, “The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on rock” (Matthew 7:25, NRSV). However, the foolish builder does not take the impending storm into consideration. His fate is much different, and the text says, “The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell—and great was its fall” (Matthew 7:27, NRSV)!
Morris Brown, as we prayerfully persevere through this storm, it is important for us to remember that not all storms occur in nature. There will be spiritual storms, physical storms, and economic storms that we all must face. Nevertheless, in this parable, Jesus gives us the divine strategy for surviving storms, and that is making sure that we are “…Founded on a rock” and built on a solid foundation. It is the words of the hymnist that reminds us that “This Rock is Jesus, yes He’s the One, this Rock is Jesus, the only One; be very sure, be very sure, your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!” My friends, Jesus Christ is the only foundation that keeps us in any storm that we face.