Winchester Cathedral, once the epicentre of royal and spiritual power in England and the final resting place of no fewer than nine Kings. Despite all that, it would have been reduced to a pile of rubble 100 years ago if it wasn’t for a humble deep-sea diver named William Walker. The materials used in the construction of Winchester Cathedral weighed in excess of 100,000 tons but there was a problem, the foundations were not strong enough to hold it up. Jesus told a very famous story about two builders who both built their own house. For some unknown reason, Builder Number 1 built his house on the sand. Very bad idea!

Builder Number 2 had done his homework and headed for higher ground to build his house on a solid base of rock. When the storms arrived, Builder Number 2 had a perfect view of the beach where the Builder Number 1 was on his backside in the watery ruins of a sand castle. Ever wondered why Jesus used told Sunday School stories to adults, it’s because most grown-ups are not as smart as they think they are. The story had really nothing to do with building houses, it was a pointed illustration about foundations and what people build their lives on. Jesus went after the big issues, he cut to the chase. That's why the humble loved him and proud despised him.

I know a guy who designed earthquake-proof skyscrapers in Hong Kong. He told me about the precise calculations that control the height of tall buildings. Guess what, it's all about the depth and quality of the foundations. In other words, a building can only go as high as the foundations have gone deep. Many years ago, now I faced up to the reality that my life was built on the wrong foundation, I’d been building on mud and sand. The Bible describes Jesus as the Rock for very good reasons. I can hear some of you saying “Now hold on a minute are you seriously suggesting that a man who lived 2,000 years ago can be the foundation stone for my life? Yes, absolutely.

Jesus knew what he was talking about when he told the story of the two builders. Here's what happened when the foundations of Winchester Cathedral were compromised and cracks began to appear in its huge medieval walls. By 1903 some of them were wide enough for a child to walk through. A failed plan involved digging trenches 4 metres under the walls and filling them with concrete. But even the most powerful pumps in Britain couldn’t hold back the water for long enough. Everyone thought this 1,000-year-old Cathedral was finished until William Walker stepped up to the plate. Every day for 6 years he worked 20 feet under the cathedral in under water, in total darkness and in constant danger. The cathedral was saved by Walker, his dedicated team, 25,000 bags of cement and nearly a million bricks.

Inside that cathedral is an 800-year-old Bible and here’s a few lines verse from it translated into modern day English. “The Lord lifted me out of the ditch, pulled me from the deep mud and stood me up on a solid rock to make sure I wouldn’t slip” Building your life on the Rock of Jesus is the very best thing you can do. It will hold fast through this life and carry you safely to Heaven. When the storms of life hit hard, the rain lashes down and the wind blows you can trust in Jesus completely. A famous old hymn writer put it pretty well I think “On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand. All other ground is sinking sand”

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