A Strong Enough Foundation?
Psalm 37:4 counsels us, “Seek your happiness in the Lord, and He will give you your heart’s desire” (Good News Translation). In Matthew 6:33, Jesus adds, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (NIV).
What happens when we reverse the formula? What happens when we seek our heart’s desires first rather than seeking God first? What happens when we seek our happiness in the things of this world rather than seeking our happiness in the Lord?
F.F. Bruce states, “The soul’s deepest thirst is for God Himself, who has made us so that we can never be satisfied without Him.” The implication of this statement is that no matter how many nice things we might acquire or how many fun things we might do, they cannot truly satisfy our souls for our souls were made to find satisfaction in something else.
Alexander McLaren adds, “This desire for God, when it is misdirected, is the source of all misery. But this desire, when properly directed is the source of all joy.” In other words, getting the formula right (seeking our happiness in the Lord, and seeking first His kingdom and His righteousness) leads to joy, but getting the formula wrong (seeking our heart’s desire first, and seeking our happiness through the things of this world) leads to misery.
On February 28, 2013, a 37-year-old man named Jeffrey Bush living near Tampa, Florida died when the earth underneath his home suddenly opened up and swallowed him alive. His brother tried to help him when he heard Jeffrey screaming, but it was too late. The entire bedroom was sucked deep into the earth, and the home had to be rapidly abandoned. Jeffrey had fallen victim to a sinkhole.
Sinkholes generally occur in areas where the bedrock is formed from soft minerals and rocks like salt, gypsum, limestone, or dolomite. As underground water turns acidic by absorbing carbon dioxide it slowly whittles away the bedrock, creating a sinkhole. In other words, when the bedrock is not strong enough and something acidic gradually eats it away, the ground falls through.
Isn’t that what Scripture warns us can happen to us when we get the formula for life wrong? When we fail to establish the foundation of our lives on Christ but allow acidic pursuits and desires to eat away at a weak foundation to our lives, sinkholes develop and our lives come crashing down!
No wonder the Bible consistently counsels us to build our lives on the firm foundation of our relationship with God.
St. Teresa of Avila summed it up with these words: “The soul is therefore neither content with nor desirous of the worlds’ satisfactions, because it has within itself what pleases it more…being with Him is what it wants!”