46 “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I tell you? 47 I will show you what someone is like who comes to me, hears my words, and acts on them. 48 That one is like a man building a house, who dug deeply and laid the foundation on rock; when a flood arose, the river burst against that house but could not shake it, because it had been well built. 49 But the one who hears and does not act is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the river burst against it, immediately it fell, and great was the ruin of that house.”
Two phrases stand out to me. Jesus speaks of the one who “puts his words into practice” and who “dug down deep.”
I don’t particularly like digging deep. I mean literally, having to dig deep holes. It’s effortful, back breaking work. Depends on the soil of course, but it’s Murphy’s law or something that when I have to dig deeper, the soil is almost like rock. But if you’re going to establish anything that lasts, particularly against strong weather and even just gravity, the deeper you dig, the more stable the structure.
Jesus is, as he usually does, using the power of a simple life experience to teach me something about my personal life – my spirituality, my purposes, my life stability. The deeper I dig (the more I get prepared to put in the effort), the more stable I become. Grace is not opposed to effort, but to earning. I don’t earn God’s grace by digging deep, but I do apply God’s grace by digging deep. If I want a stable and strong life in Him, that is. In fact, God keeps showing me that it is His grace, His power, His favour that enables a deeply established and firm life.
I’ve simply gotta be bothered. To get out the shovel of life – good disciplines like prayer, good habits like reading the word, good choices like being generous and wise with my finances – and dig deep. In digging deep with these tools, I can grow to enjoy the most stable and fruitful life.
Lord, help me. I’m, more often than I’d like, prone to look for the easy way out. Thank you for your grace that empowers a life of effort to dig down deep and put your word into practice. Amen.
Written by Ps. Rob Waugh