If you build your life on my words, said Jesus, you will be like a house built on a rock. When rains pour and rivers flood, your house won’t collapse. (My paraphrase of Matthew 7:24)The Greek word Jesus used for the idea of building a life on His word is poieo. The English word poem comes from this word. Poets use words in creative ways to build something original.
“Be a poet,” Jesus is saying. “Take my words and build a life with them.” His words build solid foundations. His words can decorate our lives and turn them into something beautiful.
Recently, I met a pretty mother of two small children. She told how she’d been addicted to heroine, sold her body on the downtown streets and lived in constant rage. I looked into her clear eyes and soft face. I couldn’t picture her slashing her arms, screaming out for help. One rainy night, in the grizzly downtown core, she went berserk. She felt like she was in hell.
Foolishly, she’d built her life on a sand bar. A hurricane had rushed in from the sea and flattened her life. In the middle of her destruction, she remembered that God loved her.
That night this young woman began to build a meaningful life, a poem, because, as Corrie ten Boom often said, “No darkness is so deep that Jesus is not deeper still.”
As long as there’s breath, it’s never too late for God to take the meaningless jumble of our lives and turn them into a beautiful poem.
Build your life on the solid foundation of Christ’s words.
“One well-chosen word at a time. One stanza of service at a time. And with our words and deeds, we can leave something beautiful behind in the lives of others.” Eugene H. Peterson.