Authored and read by Dia
I overheard a mother telling her little boys the story of the three pigs and the wolf. I’m sure most of us have heard this story.
The story begins with the little pigs being sent out into the world to “seek their fortune.” The first little pig builds a house of straw, but a wolf blows it down. The second pig builds a house of sticks with the same ultimate result. Each exchange between wolf and pig features the ringing proverbial phrase:
“Little pig, little pig, let me come in!”
“Not by the hair on my chinny-chin-chin!”
“Then I’ll huff, and I’ll puff, and I’ll blow your house in.”(1)
The third pig builds a house of brick. The wolf cannot huff and puff hard enough to blow the house down. He attempts to trick the little pig out of the house, but the pig outsmarts him at every turn. Finally, the wolf resolves to come down the chimney, whereupon the pig boils a pot of water into which the wolf plunges, at which point the pig quickly covers the pot and cooks the wolf for supper.
Okay, the conclusion of this fable is possibly taking me a little off topic, so to clarify: I’m not suggesting that it’s possible to outsmart or “cook” all the “wolves” in our lives. What I want to remember is, “Build the house of my life and faith with solid brick that can’t be huffed and puffed away by the wolves.”
What you build your house with and the materials you choose to use are important. Biblical truth over pop culture—bricks over straw or twigs! Some aspects of your home and décor can and will change with time, but the foundation is something that needs to remain. A house built upon a rock.
In Matthew 7:24–27 Jesus says, “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built their house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the wind blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built their house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”(2)
In verse 25 we find the phrase “beat on.” A very similar expression, “beat against,” is also found in verse 27. While both phrases mean pretty much the same thing in English, when you look up the original Greek you notice that they are two different Greek words. In verse 25 the Greek word is prospipto, which means to violently fall upon; attack; or rush upon. In the context of verse 25 it means that when a global type of flood comes or a huge amount of water rushes in, the house that is built on the rock will stand. Contrast that to verse 27, where the Greek word is proskopto, which means dash against or surge against. In the context of that verse, it means that when a small amount of water, like a creek comes, the house that is built on the sand will fall, and the fall will be great.
In other words, if your life is anchored in Jesus and grounded in Him, then even through the biggest, toughest difficulties that life can throw at you, your house will stand. You will be able to weather that storm because Jesus will be your rock, your stability; He’ll hold you up. But if a house is not grounded in Jesus and His Word, but is built on a weak foundation, like sand, then even the tiniest little difficulty can knock that house, or life, for a loop.
John Piper, in his book Spectacular Sins, and Their Global Purpose in the Glory of Christ, states the following: “Christianity is not a game; it’s not a therapy. All of its doctrines flow from who God is and what He has done in history. They correspond to hard facts. Christianity is more than facts, but not less. There is faith and hope and love. But these don’t float in the air. They grow like great cedar trees in the rock of God’s truth. Those who will be left standing will be those who have built their houses on the rock of great, objective truth with Jesus Christ as the origin, center, and goal of it all.”(3)
Adoniram Judson, who lived from 1788 through 1850, is someone whom I feel is an amazing example of having built his life upon a rock. He was an American missionary who served in Burma for 40 years. But his life wasn’t glorious at all. Adoniram was only 25 when he and his wife went to Burma. During those first years they experienced loneliness and poor health. It was six years before they won their first convert. On top of that, Adoniram was in prison for two years. Talk about a heavy storm beating against one’s house! Then, shortly after he was released from prison, his wife and baby daughter died. It almost seemed like Adoniram received blow after blow of harsh winds and rain. It was one difficulty and heart-wrenching experience after another. And yet, through it all, Adoniram’s “house” remained standing.
He may not have always felt like it was standing. There were probably times when he felt defeated and destroyed. But history shows that he was not destroyed and that his life’s work and efforts were worth it. One proof of that is when Adoniram began his mission in Burma, he set a goal of translating the Bible into Burmese and founding a church of 100 members. When he died, he left the Burmese Bible, 100 churches, and over 8,000 believers.
When I think of Adoniram I’m frankly amazed at how he could keep going even after being hit and beaten by so many of life’s storms. And I realize, it wasn’t so much about Adoniram—the inner strength he must have had, or the incredible willpower or gumption. Instead it was about what he was relying on to hold him up, the rock that he was in essence built on—which was Jesus. Adoniram was able to face life-threatening winds and storms of life, and yet remain standing, because he was grounded in Jesus.
So the question is, where are you building your house, and when the storms of life come, and they certainly will, what will survive?
1 “Three Little Pigs,” a 19th century fairytale
2 English Standard Version
3 Crossway Books, 2008. p. 57
Music by sindustry(CC). Copyright © 2011 by The Family International