Revealing the sand

Published 8:12 pm Tuesday, March 24, 2020

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By Nathan Rice

It was a hectic week at work, and my volunteer position kept me busy every evening. Therefore, I wasn’t paying much attention to the news. I heard the coronavirus had made its way to America, and there was some concern in various places, but I didn’t stop enough to study the situation.

Soon, it was something that I could not avoid. I came out of my hurried state and noticed what was happening around me. “Wait,” I said, “schools are closed?” It seemed that schools closing was the beginning of a downward spiral. The stock market dropped thousands of points, businesses began laying off workers as they closed their doors, every event was canceled, grocery stores were stripped, a state of emergency was declared, the national guard was activated, and there was a big kerfuffle about toilet paper.

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I watched everything around me. I stared at the empty shelves at the grocery store, witnessed economic chaos, and saw people panic over toilet paper, and I thought to myself, “The sand has been revealed.” Let me explain.

A few thousand years ago, Jesus told a story to a group of people who gathered around Him. He spoke of two builders. One builder built his house on sand. Another builder built his house on a rock. Soon, a storm came and shook both houses. The house on the sand, not having a firm foundation, fell to the ground. The house on the rock, however, stood firm. Jesus compared people who build their lives on God and His Word to the one who built his house on the rock, and He compared those who do not build their lives on God and His Word to the one who built his house on sand.

The coronavirus, and the effects it has had on our nation, has revealed the fragility of many of our structures. Our economy took a hit, and while it can recover, it has proven that wealth is fleeting. It can be lost in a moment. The enormous resources that we have in food and supplies were depleted in a very short period. The shelves at grocery stores will be refilled, but it has shown that we’re one crisis away from trouble. We’ve also seen the temporary nature of our employment as many people have been told not to come back to work. It’s all so fragile!

All these great things that we use to feel secure can be taken in a moment. We hold these things in such high esteem, but beneath the surface there is a sand foundation.

A life built on a shaky foundation is scary! It’s hard when you begin to realize the fragility of the things that make us feel safe and secure.

Thankfully, there’s a better life. It’s a life built on a foundation that will never crumble. I’m grateful for a foundation on the Rock. If every dollar I have becomes worthless, God has promised to take care of me. If I am forced to be home for days upon days, I know God is with me. If I lose my life, I will be at home with the Lord.

I have peace during these times, because I know my foundation is firm. The One I’ve built my life upon cannot be taken from me. I am safe, and I am secure. I encourage all who are beginning to notice their shaky foundations to join me on the Rock. There’s plenty of room, and I’d love to have some more neighbors.

Nathan Rice is a Hampton Roads native and can be reached at