Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Romans 12:12

Solid Foundations

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Several times over the past few weeks I’ve been reminded of the necessity for solid foundations.  During my holiday I spent many hours slaving over a patch of dirt that would eventually be my “new” patio.  I can’t begin to tell you how many buckets of sweat I poured out trying to make that space level and workable.  And even now you wouldn’t know it to see it.  Once I got through with all that work you will never see the rest of the project practically finished itself.  But that’s what good foundations are all about.

Think about how much time and care it takes to pour a basement foundation and how quickly the rest of the house can be framed in once that’s all set. Think of how much time goes into preparing a canvas or researching a paper compared to the time spent painting or writing.  If you don’t do it right, if you don’t take the time, if you aren’t exacting in your work of laying a solid foundation then everything that gets put on top of it is weakened and in danger of crashing down. The patio stones will trip you up, or the walls will sag and crack. Your finished project will be short-lived, lopsided and unsightly.

And the same holds true for our own personal lives and our family life even more so than for our houses and patios.  Solid foundations are important. I was reminded of that only a few days ago when talking to the family of a beloved saint who was called to her heavenly glory. She was (still is) a woman who knew the importance of laying a solid foundation for herself and her family.  A foundation that rested on the rock solid Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Going to church, hearing the word, praying for and with her children and grandchildren were the bedrock of her quiet life.  Most of what she did to lay that foundation no one outside of her family would likely ever have noticed or appreciated.  But her family did … and still does.  And it shows in the faith they have, and the love they share especially in their time of grief.

Faith is that foundation. Faith is what we build all the works of our lives upon. Do not short-change the work you put into making it solid. Doing it right should make you sweat more than a little.  Read the scriptures, pray, study your catechism, sing the hymns of the faith. Do it every day. Do it with those you love. Do it until you can recite it by heart and then do it again.  You must never underestimate the importance – not just to you but all whose lives interact with your own.

The time and effort you put into laying a good foundation will never impress anyone, but it is absolutely vital … both to you and those you love. Faith is not fancy or showy – it never says look at me.  It is content to go unnoticed, and sometimes even unappreciated. If you do it right no one will ever see all the work you put into it.  But one day they will see all that is built upon its rock solid foundations and they will thank you for it!


Author: kenmaher

When I'm not working I enjoy Astronomy, Camping, Comic Books, Epic Fantasy Novels, Games (both playing and designing), Hiking, Juggling, Sci-fi, and building strange things out of pvc pipe. I also enjoy being an honorary pre-schooler with my four great children ... much to their mother's dismay.

One thought on “Solid Foundations

  1. And here is a wonderful Quote from Dr. Luther in His longer preface to the Large Catechism:

    Oh, what mad, senseless fools are we that, while we must ever live and dwell among such mighty enemies as the devils are, we nevertheless despise our weapons and defense, and are too lazy to look at or think of them!

    And what else are such supercilious, presumptuous saints, who are unwilling to read and study the Catechism daily, doing than esteeming themselves much more learned than God Himself with all His saints, angels, [patriarchs], prophets, apostles, and all Christians? For inasmuch as God Himself is not ashamed to teach these things daily, as knowing nothing better to teach, and always keeps teaching the same thing, and does not take up anything new or different, and all the saints know nothing better or different to learn, and cannot finish learning this, are we not the finest of all fellows to imagine, if we have once read or heard it, that we know it all, and have no further need to read and learn, but can finish learning in one hour what God Himself cannot finish teaching, although He is engaged in teaching it from the beginning to the end of the world, and all prophets, together with all saints, have been occupied with learning it, and have ever remained pupils, and must continue to be such?

    For it needs must be that whoever knows the Ten Commandments perfectly must know all the Scriptures, so that, in all affairs and cases, he can advise, help, comfort, judge, and decide both spiritual and temporal matters, and is qualified to sit in judgment upon all doctrines, estates, spirits, laws, and whatever else is in the world. And what, indeed, is the entire Psalter but thoughts and exercises upon the First Commandment? 18] Now I know of a truth that such lazy paunches and presumptuous spirits do not understand a single psalm, much less the entire Holy Scriptures; and yet they pretend to know and despise the Catechism, which is a compend and brief summary of all the Holy Scriptures.

    Therefore I again implore all Christians, especially pastors and preachers, not to be doctors too soon, and imagine that they know everything (for imagination and cloth unshrunk [and false weights] fall far short of the measure), but that they daily exercise themselves well in these studies and constantly treat them; moreover, that they guard with all care and diligence against the poisonous infection of such security and vain imagination, but steadily keep on reading, teaching, learning, pondering, and meditating, and do not cease until they have made a test and are sure that they have taught the devil to death, and have become more learned than God Himself and all His saints.

    If they manifest such diligence, then I will promise them, and they shall also perceive, what fruit they will obtain, and what excellent men God will make of them, so that in due time they themselves will acknowledge that the longer and the more they study the Catechism, the less they know of it, and the more they find yet to learn; and then only, as hungry and thirsty ones, will they truly relish that which now they cannot endure, because of great abundance and satiety. To this end may God grant His grace! Amen.

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