As we all are learning how to stay focused on the heart of God, our thoughts last week were drawn to the need to develop a deeper relationship with the Lord. In Paul’s prayer for the church in Ephesus (Ephesians 3:14-21), he urged us to be rooted, grounded, established in His love.
Apparently that word translated “grounded” is an architectural term. And it definitely brings to mind the Tower of Pisa. The leaning part is actually only the bell tower of that cathedral. It was built in three stages, beginning in the 12thcentury.
It took them over 199 years to complete the construction and the net result was a 183-foot tower that ultimately leaned over 5.5 degrees.
So, what made it tilt so badly? Well a clue might be found in its name. “Pisa” is a Greek word that means “marshy land.” This tower was constructed on soft soil that consisted of sand, clay and sea shells. Not exactly a firm foundation.
Sand shifts with time. Clay compresses and slides under pressure. And sea shells are easily crushed and lose their shape. So, for obvious reasons, on three separate occasions efforts were made to straighten up the tower.
The efforts in 1883 and 1934 failed. But in 1990, the modern experts placed counterweights on the base, drained away water accumulated under the structure and poured 30-foot concrete pillars to reinforce the foundation. Their efforts stopped the “leaning,” and they believe it is safe for the next 200 years.
“Placing counterweights” is the idea of substituting soft ground with a firm foundation. “Draining water away” is the concept of removing that which hurts the base. And “pouring concrete pillars” is the implanting of what is firm, solid and useful for stability.
We too need to be well grounded in the heart of our Savior. We need some counterweights to help secure us to His love. Things like prayer, scripture memorization and godly fellowship will help. We need all the “water” drained away. As we ask Him to, God will help remove “the sin that does so easily entangle us” (Hebrews 12:1).
And we need those new pillars. We desperately need to infuse our lives with meaningful spiritual disciplines that keep us grounded on a firm foundation.
As the wonderful song “Build My Life” reminds us: I will build my life upon Your love. It is a firm foundation. I will put my trust in You alone and I will not be shaken.
This week, let’s all check our foundations. Put in some counterweights, if necessary. Drain out the extraneous stuff and pour in the solid concrete of His word!
Sherry Worel is a Bible teacher at heart and lives a life of ministry. She’s been involved at Coast Hills teaching Women’s LIFE, Bible studies, online courses, devotionals, participating in Upstream conversations, and much more. Having a love for education, Sherry has over 50 years of teaching experience with schools, churches, and mission agencies. As well as earning her Master’s at Talbot Seminary, she rounded out her education with 35 years as Head of School at Stoneybrooke Christian School. Sherry is happiest with a book or fishing pole in hand.