Building For Eternity
After countless trips of gathering sand and water, my sand castle was finally standing tall. But, I quickly noticed that the ocean waves were coming increasingly closer to overtaking it. With great panic, I began building a wall-like barrier around the sand castle hoping that the rushing waves would not triumph over it.
Much to my dismay, my sand castle was washed away so quickly you would have never known it was standing tall just seconds before. You know what I learned on the beach that day? No matter how hard or fast I try, I will never be in control. It took a family vacation to the shores of Galveston, Texas, for me to learn this valuable lesson.
Unlike God, I cannot tell the waves of the sea to stay put at the shoreline. Even though I couldn’t hold back the rushing waves that sought to destroy my sand castle, there is a God that can “turn” the waters wherever He wishes (Prov. 21:1).
As a homemaker, writer, and wife to a full-time multi-campus Pastor and part-time Football Coach, I spend a lot of my days balancing time between the home, church, community, and ministering to women. Despite these various responsibilities, much of my day and schedule is largely up to how I design it. In the mundane, everyday moments of my day, I have to fight the urge to take control and build my own kingdom. If I am not careful, I often miss seeing the glory in the ordinary.
Just like that day on the beach, I often have to remind myself that I am not the Creator or the center of the Kingdom. And, despite all my efforts, I don’t hold the world together.
Sand Castles vs. The Kingdom of God
The sand we use to build our kingdoms is meant to point us and others to our King. Jesus warned us against the sand castle kingdoms we attempt to build. In Matthew 7:24-27, He contrasts His eternal kingdom and our temporary kingdoms:
“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds 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 his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”
Sand castle kingdoms do not provide shelter in the storms of life. They do not provide rest for the weary. They do not provide healing for the hurting. They do not provide nourishment for the hungry.
They simply sit there. Sand castles may be alluring and beautiful on the outside, but they have no treasure on the inside. No matter how hard we work or how much we strive, we come out with our buckets, shovels, and tools and forget that it we are only building with water and sand.
Whether you are a college student, young wife, mother of five, or a grandmother – every day we pick up a shovel and build. If we are not careful, we will even build our own kingdoms in the name of Jesus without realizing it. We will use the glory of our Savior to add credibility and loveliness to our own names, efforts, and dreams. We will try to grow our social media followings or speak in such a way that we get recognized and our name gets lifted high. We will work in our homes or serve in our church for the praise and attention of those in our little sand castle kingdoms.
When we built with ill motives, these things (no matter how big or how good) will always wash away like a sand castle does when the waves of life come crashing into the shoreline.
On the other hand, Jesus offers us a better way. He invites us to build His Kingdom on the rock. This Kingdom is full of riches and everything we could ever need or desire. It is in this Kingdom that we are co-heirs with Him (Romans 8:17). It is in this Kingdom that we get a seat at the table to dine with Him. This Kingdom is forever—it is the Kingdom of God.
God does not need us to build His Kingdom, but by His grace He welcomes us. He gives us a greater purpose than to build the temporary. He invites us in to build with Him and to live for something that is bigger and better, the gospel of Jesus Christ. If you are a daughter of the One who “turns” the waters where He wishes, you have the keys to this Kingdom.
Just One Brick
What if all you were meant to do in the Kingdom of God is to lay one brick? Just one. What if serving in your home, teaching your children, or ministering to your friend are all He asks of you today as you build His Kingdom? What if folding laundry, working with excellence at your job, or doing your best in your college courses glorifies Him most today?
So, how do you know if you are building empty sand castle kingdoms or contributing to the Kingdom of God. When the “rains fall, and the floods come, and the winds blow”, does your castle stand tall or get washed away? What is your purpose or motive for building? Are you storing up for yourself or pointing others to Him? Are you striving and building in your strength and power, or Christ within you? Can you use what you have built as a tool for sharing the gospel?
I don’t know about you, but I am laying down my sand castle-building tools. I’m laying down my attempts to build in my own strength and speak my own words. I’m laying down my ideas I think are great and my timing I think is best.
And I’m trading them for a cross. The kingdom of God is not built with shovels and sand – it is built with faithful love, sacrifice, and Truth (Psalm 115:1). His name is why we build and serve.
Living in the Kingdom of God is risky, terrifying, humbling, rocky, salty, and promises persecution. But, the reward is great. Ladies, let’s be about the kingdom of God, spending our time and energy to make His name great, not our own.