Here in the northeast, a great threat to buildings or anything built upon or in the ground is the heaving nature of frost. Yes, I know winter is a dim memory in our rear-view mirror. But hey, it is an important topic...the frost and not winter. When planning a build, one needs to dig into the earth, form a solid base, and then begin to fabricate the structure. Footers containing reinforcement rod and wire are essential. The footer will be the main resting place for tons and tons of weight. It is important to invest in the foundation's main resting place. Our planning must include strategies to keep water from sinking alongside the walls of our building and especially from reaching the footer buried below.
The building pictured here was clearly built a long time ago. The field stone walls lend credence to that analysis. When this building was constructed, the builders created a footer on which to build. Was the footer adequate? At the time, it may have seemed to be but the cracks in the wall reveal weakness.
Was it a poorly constructed wall? Was it weakly mixed cement? Um, no and no. The issue here is the unseen footer that was supposed to be rigid and strong and yet failed. I see sinkage that creates cracks in the structure.
For the sake of argument, let's assume the footer was well crafted and built to last. What else could have gone wrong here? Well, we started this blog talking about frost and its power. Somewhere along this building it is possible that water was seeping into the ground and finding its way to the base of the stone walls. The exposed portion of this wall is a prime place for water to settle, then freeze in winter's cold temps, and begin the hydraulic process for which water and ice are known. With freezing water comes expansion and with defrosting comes contraction. Over years of this action, slight fissures can turn into full blown cracks that will eventually lead to demise. Who can know when this building will succumb to this ongoing erosion of structural integrity. We know it will be 'when' and not 'if' it succumbs.
Often, I talk to folks who are suffering severe cracks in their life. Sometimes the damage is physical, sometimes it's emotional, and sometimes it's spiritual. No matter the area you can be sure that all three areas will be adversely affected. In many of these cases, I notice a lax approach to spiritual growth and maturation. There seems to be a correlation between broken people and spiritual stagnation. I just saw a quote this morning from Ravi Zacharias, "People often ask me where to find inspiration. I say to be inspired go to someone who has suffered much and whose faith has remained unshaken." The quote seems to suggest strong faith does not happen by accident. Ravi is a world renowned leader of Christian thought and apologetic. His RZIM ministry is reaching many with the mission: Helping Thinkers Believe & Believers Think.
The take away for us today is to concentrate on building a strong foundation of faith in Jesus Christ and then to maintain solid landscaping around our life to keep erosive forces away from the base, footer, foundation of our faith. Regular doses of Bible reading keep us strong. Regular contact with other believers can keep us supported. Regular participation in Bible studies with other folks can broaden the base on which we build a life. We know that life will shake us but life built on the strong foundation of Jesus Christ will remain intact. Keep the faith friends.