The House Built On The Sand


I’ve never seen the movie, Nights in Rodanthe, but because I’m from Eastern North Carolina, I have followed the news stories about Serendipity—the coastal NC house (seen above) that was the setting for the movie. Ever since the movie was released, the local news stations have sent reporters out there practically every time it rains, to see if this time is going to be the time that Serendipity finally succumbs to the pull of the ocean and the torture of the storm. Finally, this week, the owner of the home brought in a crew and moved the house out of harm’s way—to more stable ground.

Serendipity reminds me of something…


Only the difference between me and this house is that I actually choose to stay on the sand, in the path of the storm.

Jesus said, “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” – Jesus in Matthew 7:24-27

Okay, I’m not going to beat up on myself here… But I’ll be honest. (I can do that here, right?)

When I asked Jesus to be my Savior and Lord, He started taking my spiritual house down and rebuilding it on The Rock (Himself), one chunk at a time. Now, there are some rooms I don’t mind Him plundering in. But there are other rooms, that I really don’t want Him to touch. But the problem is that if I don’t let Him into every room, then eventually a storm is going to come that I won’t be able to withstand.

Can you imagine? The Holy Spirit comes into my house—all dressed up in His hard hat and steel-toed boots—and heads straight for the closet. But I leap in front of the door.

“NO! Don’t go in there! Start somewhere else! How about starting in the kitchen? NO! Wait! I didn’t mean it! How about the bedroom? STOP! No! Not there either. What about the den? WAIT! Hold on! No!”

And so the Holy Spirit sticks His hands in His jeans pockets and waits for me to open the doors for Him. But even then, I try to negotiate.

“Okay, You can go into the den, but just leave the TV. And You can go into the office, just don’t mess with my computer or my books.”

And being a gentleman, the Holy Spirit doesn’t force me to let Him make changes—even though it grieves Him.

At night, when I turn out the lights, I lie in bed and listen to the wind blowing against the walls, the waves lapping at the floors. I feel the house leaning further and further and sinking deeper and deeper.

Until I finally wake up and realize that there’s something much bigger at stake.

Recently, while reading Genesis 22 for like the hundredth time, I was stumped by a question that had never occurred to me before: If God knows the heart of man (and He does) then why would He need to test Abraham by asking him to sacrifice Isaac? Certainly not to prove what God already knows about Abraham (the purity of his heart and motives)!

Slowly an answer began to seep into my mind. God didn’t need for Abraham to prove himself to Him. God wanted Abraham to prove himself to himself (Abraham), his son, and to us. God never does anything for the good of one person, but rather for the good of all His children.

So, if I’m part of the reason Abraham did this, then what does this really mean to me? What does this prove to me?

Abraham was willing to sacrifice his idol (Isaac) so that God could bring about His promise to Abraham.

Am I willing to sacrifice my idols (all those closed doors in my falling-down house) so that God can bring about His promises to me and to the world through me?

Today, that answer is yes. And my prayer is that every day, that answer will be yes.

How about you?

About Sarah Salter


  1. Awesome post! I don’t really tend to watch movies like that one… something about Nicolas Sparks…

    Anyway, that was a great post and a lesson we can all learn. I really liked the visual you used of the person leaping into the Holy Spirit’s path. “Not that one!” I hadn’t thought of it that way, but it’s totally what I do.


  2. Wow.

    That Abraham insight was quite interesting. I think I need to think about that one for a while.

  3. Great post, Sarah! I’ve never seen that movie, but the visual of the house certainly got me thinking.

  4. I didn’t see the movie. I always loved the Children’s song about the wise man building his house on a rock.

    Your thoughts on Abraham are worth pondering.

  5. Excellent post and insights? And by the way, it’s your blog, be as honest as you like. 🙂

  6. Laura O'Connell says:

    Sacrificing our idols is one of the hardest things we’ll ever do. Some days, it’s harder than others. I pray every day God will give me the strength to open those doors, but sometimes I’d rather not.

    Thanks, Sarah, for this thought provoking post.

  7. Elizabeth McCormick says:

    Good one Sarah…..all of us have doors that need to be open….with God’s help they will be open.

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