Last Sunday night, I was glued to the NRL Grand Final. Every year I tune in and cheer on whichever team takes my fancy. But this was different. This year was special. This year my own team, the Penrith Panthers, were in the Grand Final and I was eager to see them win. It was a thrilling match. I rode the roller coaster, with every Panthers fan, in every twist and turn of the game. And as the final siren sounded, as our battered and bruised boys finally held up the Provan-Summons Trophy, I was jubilant, along with the many other fans across Western Sydney. Yet, it was only a year ago that the Panthers faced the bitter disappointment of losing a Grand Final.
As much as I love sport, I don’t love how cut-throat it is. It’s great when you win, but in the words of Roy and HG “there are a million ways to lose”. Sometimes that comes down to millimetres or a thousandth of a second. The weak quickly fall away, while only the strongest are victorious.
Life can feel just as cut-throat. It doesn’t take much to show us how weak we really are. Just a tiny, microscopic virus can shut down an entire country. Things we consider certain can suddenly be whisked away and we realise that our world is like a dune where the sand shifts and changes all the time. A common question I got during our Year 3 Google Meets last term was “When are going back to school?” It broke my heart to respond with “I don’t know”. How uncertain our world can be, and how helpless it can make us feel.
Yet, the Bible reminds us that in our shifting, sand dune world, God is the rock on which we can stand. In our Year 3 devotions, we have been looking at Jesus’ parables. One parable in particular is called the Wise and Foolish Builders. It goes like this:
Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine (Jesus) and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.Matthew 7:24-27
Notice how the house that stands on the rock may not be the prettiest house, or the house that’s the most well-built. It’s the one that is built on the rock. When we build our lives on Jesus, even though the winds or rains of life batter us, we can still stand. We don’t stand because we are strong. We are actually weaker than we realise, and it doesn’t take a lot to expose that truth. No, we stand because Jesus is strong. When we put our trust in Jesus, we have secure salvation that cannot be changed no matter how many times life’s certainties are whisked away from us. It’s in the strength of the Lord Jesus that we can say:
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.Psalm 72:26
Praise God, that in Him we are not trapped in a cut-throat game where the fittest, fastest and strongest win the victory of life. When we put our trust in Jesus, we can be victorious in the end with Him, not because we are strong but because He is.