Quicksand and Solid Ground – An Advent Reflection by John Longacker

image1Today’s Gospel reading, Matthew 7:24-27, brought back a memory of sandy ground from when I was about 6 years old. Apparently having seen at least one Tarzan movie where jungle explorers were up to their necks in quicksand I developed a fear of getting myself stuck in the same predicament. I was not alone in this fear as my best childhood friend Bob expressed his dread of it also. This presented a problem since we wanted to explore the vacant lot on the corner of Manning and Washington. The lot was overgrown with sumac and head high weeds (the perfect “jungle”). Bob was sure the lot had quicksand and exploration was deferred until we were a more mature 7 years old.

The Israelites may not have had a fear of quicksand, but they were familiar with the shifting sands of the Negev desert. No structure would be fully stable if built on this ground. A solid foundation was needed before building.

Our Christian faith must also be build on a solid base. We cannot let the trials and adversities of life weaken our faith. This isn’t easy when your family is experiencing severe illnesses, financial difficulties, family breakups and other struggles in life. Jesus didn’t say we wouldn’t have troubles. In Matt. 7 verse 2 “the rains poured down, the rivers flooded over, and wind blew against the house” even though it was built on rock.

In St. Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians, 3:11, he tells us that “…God has already placed Jesus Christ as the one and only foundation…“.

We are to put our trust in Jesus and his promises. He walks beside us. His arms are always around us. We are never alone in times of adversity. In Isaiah 43, we are told “Do not be afraid…you are mine” and “…you are precious to me“. We are precious to Him. We are His beloved. He will never abandon us. He holds us in the palm of His hand.

Remember the refrain from the hymn written by Edward Mote:

            On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
            All other ground is sinking sand,
            All other ground is sinking sand.

Amen.

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