When deadly Hurricane Andrew hit Florida years ago, it destroyed most everything in its path. But when the winds and rain died down, TV networks used their cameras to capture the image of a lone house standing firmly in place amidst an entire neighborhood of debris. When asked why his house was the only one in the neighborhood still standing, the owner replied:
“I built this house myself. I built it according to the Florida state building code. When the code called for 2″ x 6″ roof trusses, I used 2″ x 6″ roof trusses. When it called for screws, I used screws. I was told that a house built according to code could withstand a hurricane. I did, and it did. I suppose no one else around here followed the code.”
Now, this man might have said to himself at the time he built his house, “Gee, I sure feel silly spending all this extra time, money and effort on precautions that might never be needed. Everyone else in the neighborhood is cutting corners. I think I even heard them laughing at me for adhering to all these unnecessary requirements. I wonder if it’s really worth it.” But in the end, he followed the code and was rewarded with the last house standing after the storm.
Of course, this story reminds me of the story Jesus told about the wise and foolish builders. You can find it in Matthew 7:24-27. Two builders built – one on sand and one on rock. When the storms came, the house on the rock withstood the wind and the rains. Jesus said that the builders represented two types of people – those who build their lives on Jesus (the Rock, the solid foundation) and those who build their lives on anything else (the wisdom of this world, other religions, etc.)
Taking the metaphor a little further, “building to code” means living our life based on what we read in our Bible. It may not always make sense to us at the time what God asks us to do, but if we will follow Him obediently, we will find that we can weather the storms of this life. So, build on the Rock and follow the Code. It will keep you out of the rain.