I returned from church on a Sunday afternoon, late Spring 2022, to see my neighbor in her backyard. She was busily taking apart her beehives. I asked “What are you doing, D? She replied by saying, “Charlotte, I am giving these away because the bees swarmed again. I don’t have the energy to keep going after them. This area is just not stable enough for them to want to stick around, I guess” I replied, “I’m so sorry to hear that” and then thought to myself “What about the honey and beeswax the bees consistently provided to me?” I then caught myself from straying even more into the tunnel of selfishness. I ask for forgiveness, right then. Sigh…

But I will tell you this, for the past two weeks, as soon as I enter the backyard, I go straight to the squash plants. I’ve been looking tirelessly for a glimpse of a cucumber, one squash, or at least a bitter melon. But nothing! Only little yellow flowers. I am so tempted to pick them, stuff them, and fry them up. Such a delicious snack! But I remain patient even though I’ve only seen two to three bees in the backyard this summer.

I think now of what D said about stability, which brings me to part two of the discussion I started last week. I mentioned then, about the importance of understanding the sand in the parable of the Two Houses (Matt. 7 vv. 21-28). During the time Jesus was in Galilee, He was aware that those moving to the region sought out areas, ready to build their homes on. However, in their eagerness they did not take into consideration that these land plots were sandy. Scholars have shared that the people were so keen to settle down that they didn’t even think that there was rocky and more sturdy land available. When heavy rains-one of the testing elements-came through the area, the people lost everything. In fact, these moments were noted to say, ‘Great was the fall of it’ (Matthew 7 v. 27).

This is often the case when we go it alone. This is why I thought it necessary to expound on the examining note we find in Jesus’ words of this parable. And I’m reminded of prayer in this instance. I am one who periodically struggles with prayer. It’s not that I don’t have the time to pray. I become overwhelmed with so much around me to pray for, that I find it occasionally difficult to get prayerful words out. Recently though, I’ve come to grasp that when I choose not to rely on God’s help through pray, this is indeed a risky decision.

H. B. Charles, Jr., wrote this:

“Prayer is arguably the most objective measurement of our dependence upon God. Think of it this way. The things you pray about are the things you trust God to handle. The things you neglect to pray about are the things you trust you can handle on your own.”

Jesus offers us the joy we seek with His trusted heart. And guides us to build our confidence to rest on God’s grace. To see His goodness and offered hope on His loving foundation. Those who decide to do life without Him, are often set up to not experience all His glory. In most cases, in times of difficulties, some people just hang on or continue to patch up the broken pieces, while thunderstorms and hail create more holes in their roofs, which eventually destroy their self-created foundations.

When we ponder on the behavioral patterns of the Pharisees, we see that even though they believed their foundation was stable, Jesus saw that instead, they built their security on peripheral sanctions and advantages. In John 8 v. 33, the Pharisees replied to Jesus by saying “We are the offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘you will become free?’ But we as we learn more about the Pharisees, we understand them to hold on to a salvation built on sand. As we read the rest of John 8 vv. 34-44, we see that Jesus set the Pharisees straight by telling them this “You are of your father the devil, and your will is to your father’s desire” (John 8 v. 44).

The two houses Jesus described, both showed to be stable and strong. But were they alike? In our society today, we see some people who have come to not accept Jesus, living quite large! This group hold onto what seems like the most perfect spouses, beautiful friends, large homes, fancy cars, money in the bank, and great health. But beneath it all, there’s not a foundation built on the Rock of Jesus.

Then there are people like you and me, who are earnest in honoring Christ as the foundation of our very being. We strive to live in peace with each other. To serve others as we are able, and we come to understand our faults and sins. We then ask for forgiveness from God, our generous Father. We become more knowledgeable about our Heavenly Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, through our utmost devotion garnered from His Word and our consistent reliance on Him. When our sure foundations are built on the Rock of Jesus, it is the only foundation of atonement and assurance in God’s redeeming supplies.

At the beginning of this reflection, I discussed the lack of bees this summer; those little insects so needed to pollinate the flowers of the backyard vegetables. Yet, the vegetables growing at the farm are doing so well. Pumpkins are flourishing and cucumbers too. His provisions are new to me each time I visit these plants, as they are elsewhere. And, I think then, God you give and give to me. As He gives to you, too. The sandy and beautiful beaches of my home country, as well as the snowy, rocky, mountains of my region, give me other moments of appreciation as I thank God for such benefits.

Dear reader, we come to recognize and gather so much of God’s provisions, because our foundations are constructed on the caring love of Jesus Christ. 

How fortunate we truly are.

Growing together, inside, and out,



Charles, H.B. Jr. (2013). It happens after prayer: Biblical motivations for believing prayer. Moody Publishers. Pg. 16.

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.