I was working on an old house trying to get it ready to sell. On my long to-do list was the removal of a lot of junk sitting in the backyard. That junk included three old doors with lots of small glass panels. As I was moving things around, I noticed a wasp busily building its nest on one of the doors that I would soon have to move. I felt bad knowing that I would have to kill this wasp who was only doing what was natural for it to do. The problem was that it was building the nest in the wrong place. I wished I could just talk to him and let him know that he was being evicted, that he shouldn’t waste any more time building his house where it would definitely not stand. But obviously, humans can’t talk to insects. So when it was time to move the doors, instead of spraying it with poison, I grabbed an old mason jar and covered the wasp and its nest, waited for him to fly into the jar, and then covered the lid. I knocked his house into the jar and after moving the doors, opened the lid to let the wasp go.
As I did this, it occurred to me that maybe God has to do the same with us. He tells us where we can build our houses. He gives us a foundation, but we don’t build on it. We build where we shouldn’t. Sometimes, our lives are upended, we lose our house or we lose something that we’ve been working hard for and we wonder why God could do such a thing. Perhaps it was in our best interest. The glass door we were building on had to be moved to fulfill God’s greater plan, which we are not equipped to understand. I’m sure God would love to just talk to us face to face and that he always tries to warn us we are building in the wrong area, but we are busy working and don’t even try to hear. The parable Jesus tells about the house that was built on sand and the house that was built on a firm foundation is appropriate here.
Yesterday, I toured the destruction left by an F2 tornado that hit my hometown last week. Many houses were damaged and several were even completely destroyed. After touring the destruction, we visited the gravesites of my mother, cousin, grandparents, and uncle. We put flowers on their graves for the Memorial Day holiday. It was actually the first time that I ever put flowers on my mother’s grave since she died forty years ago. Losing my mother when I was eight, I have grown up with the knowledge that life is fragile, that there really is no stable ground. I was reminded again as I toured the destruction and set out the flowers that no foundation on Earth is stable. We must remember that God is our foundation and we should only build where he tells us to.