On the sand or on the stone of faith?

On what is our spiritual building based? If it is based on the stone of firm faith, then there is no river or storm which can shatter it. But if we build it on sand, then it can collapse at sight. Of course, God knows that people are weak. That is why He always provides us with the opportunity to purify ourselves from sin, to start our building again, from the very beginning. And each time we start it again, Christ should be its base, as He is the only firm foundation. He will help to struggle with any winds and storms. If the foundation is our personal “self”, then it is weak and shaky. However, we have no idea about when the storms will attack us again, and that is why in peacetime it may occur that we find ourselves feeling relaxed. We think that we are strong enough, that there is nothing to be afraid of, that our enemy has backed off. But he did not. He is just hiding and waiting for a moment, when he can cast us down with one simple move. Then we need to think about God. Address Him, ask Him for help. I wish that our small victories in our fight against temptations and sin, against our weaknesses, will be firm and will not let us fall or move back.

Very often a weak person, who is not full of himself, succeeds more than a person, who is very talented but, unfortunately, is not especially patient. He thinks that he can achieve anything he wants, that he knows enough and has achieved his goals. But this is just the reason why people fall again. And we cannot even imagine how much falls we will live through. But we all want, that the end of our lives will be peaceful, just like we are praying for – a “peaceful decease” in repentance, when a person understands and accepts his imperfection. When Antony the Great, who spent all his life in working, praying and fasting, passed away, the angels were taking his soul to the Kingdom of Heaven. The demons saw that and yelled: “Antony, you are saved now!”, but the Saint answered: “Not yet”. He has not reached the Kingdom yet.

Can we endure all these storms, which will attack us without any doubts? Only a humble person will manage to go through all these cobwebs, covering the world. Only with humility we can fight against our enemy. All the rest is unreliable. Neither our feats, nor our deserts can be the foundation of the building, which God wants us to create, which we create with Him together. Winds and storms cannot even move this stone, because this stone is Christ Himself, Who loves us. All of these, who will be near Him, will bask in glow of His grace. The Lord loves his creature. He leads us, although sometimes we are not satisfied with what He offers us. Little by little we start to understand that all He does is for our own good. All the sorrows we face in our life will lead to good – to humility, patience, faith and hope for God’s mercy and protection. The Lord restores us, and this is why our goal is to accept His love, put it in our heart and preserve it. Let us ask God that he gave us an opportunity to show the beauty of the world, which he created for us, to relish this beauty and help the others see it as well.

We cannot stand still, because otherwise we start to roll back. If we do not move forward, then we move back. You cannot stand still in the river. You move up the stream, or the stream pushes you down. And sometimes it brings you far from the point you were before. I wish that everyday we step closer to our main goal stated by the Lord – to find love and find God. “And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him” (1 John, 4:16).

Priest Valeriy Zakharov