Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Great Wall

Some things you just have to see to fully comprehend.

A few days ago I returned from our postponed trip to Beijing, China. One of the things that made the biggest impression on me was the hospitality and friendliness of the Chinese people. They were so warm and welcoming to us, and hungry to learn.

Something else that was made a big impact was the Great Wall. Taking hundreds of years to complete, it’s almost 4,000 miles long. It averages 32 feet tall and 10 feet across—wide enough that 10 men or 5 horses fit side-by-side, and it’s estimated that between 4 and 6 million Chinese died building it! After learning about it and trying to imagine what it would be like, it was almost more than I could take in to actually be standing on it. The undulating expanse of it was truly remarkable, and a massive testament to human wisdom, tenacity, and engineering. It has endured for hundreds and hundreds of years.

our great wall

Nevertheless, there are parts of the Great Wall that lie virtually in ruins. In spite of its incredible durability, this amazing structure has crumbled in places.

great wall unrestored

The same is true of all of man’s accomplishments. No matter how well designed, nothing man builds—not walls, not structures, not weapons, nor any plans—endure forever. They cannot last forever, because they are, by their very nature, temporal. Their very substance has an innate tendency to decay.

Missionary C. T. Studd once said: "Only one life, 'twill soon be past; only what's done for Christ will last."

Only things built on Jesus Christ last forever. He is our Rock, the only foundation for anything eternal. When we love with His love, it will outlive us. When we speak with His words, they count for eternity. And when we yield our heart and soul to Him, He keeps it forever. Those things alone endure.

Everything else will ultimately perish.

Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.                                                            Matthew 27:24-25

Further reflection:

1. Have you ever visited a place that made an impression on you because of its enduring, imposing nature?

2. Which of your own behaviors will endure? Why?

Father, You are my Rock, my strong and secure foundation. I can get so caught up in things that, in the end, won’t last. Only those things that are built on You will endure for eternity. Help me to focus on those things, the ones that bring honor and glory to Your name.

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