“…heart of my own heart, whatever befall…still be my vision, O Ruler of all.” (Be Thou my vision, 8th Century Irish Hymn).
The final words to one of the oldest recorded hymns ever written, are foundational…’whatever befall, still be my vision, O Ruler of all.’
The entire hymn, verse after costly verse build ‘stone upon stone’ a foundation in which, we, believers in Christ can build our ‘temples’ on : “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?”(1 Cor. 6:19). And it is most important that we remember, to keep in our ‘vision’ the word of the Lord: “For you were bought at a price…” (1 Cor. 6:20).
For some, there is no time for ‘religious stuff’, and these words just bring strife. So focus is on the immediate, the urgent in the day to day life.
For others there is too much busy-ness, even in ‘serving the Lord’ to ‘rest’. What are the foundations of our thoughts and actions? Do we desire to build relationship stone by stone, step by step?
Do we lose our focus in the whirlwind of life? Do we desire relationship with the Ruler of all and our Creator.
Did you know that the foundation of the Temple in Jerusalem was COSTLY? “Beside the chief of Solomon’s officers which were over the work,”(of building the Temple of the Lord), “three thousand and three hundred, which ruled over the people that wrought in the work. And the king commanded, and they brought great stones, costly stones, and hewed stones, to lay the foundation of the house…” (1 Kings 5:16,17).
Great and costly and hewn stones were brought in to lay the foundation.
I speak in the present tense. I speak to myself. The cost is great in laying the foundation. And really? Who would use ‘costly and precious stones for a foundation that’s not even seen?
Foundations are seen by One, and One only. God sees. His vision is clear.
Believing that God cares about all the parts of me that no one else knows, and know one else sees, that’s foundational. And when everything I can see, everything on the outside, starts falling apart- (our temples, our physical bodies), then the FOUNDATION is all that’s left!
When this world rates us and scores us at ‘zero’ , God sees our faith and rates us as heroes!
So, what are great and costly stones? What are ‘hewed stones’ in the building of the temple of the Lord? in our own bodies? The Chief Cornerstone. Everything rests on the Cornerstone.
We discover the importance of ‘foundations’ and ‘focus’ when trouble comes and great brokenness. It’s not all bad – in that we cry out and hunger for increased faith and focus -God uses it for good.
“Be Thou my vision, Lord of my heart. Not be all else to me, save that Thou art. Thou my best thought by day and by night. Waking or sleeping Thy presence, my light.”
“Be Thou my wisdom. Thou my true word. I ever with Thee and Thou with me Lord. Thou my great Father, and I Thy true son, Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.”
Costly stones are FAITH : “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”(Hebrews 11:1). It is costly to have faith. BUT, we must be reminded, “For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.” We can’t ‘see’ faith, but we can see the evidence of it in the testimony, in the story! AND, it is recorded, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him,(God), for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him! (Hebrews 11:6, exclamation point, mine!)
No one can see the great costly stones in the foundation, but God can, and God does! He’s got us in full view, and we best keep Him in full view as well, and then, we can stand on the Stone, the Chief Cornerstone no matter WHAT is going on in our world and sing with courage and trust:
“Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise. Thou mine inheritance now and always. Thou and Thou only, First in my heart. Thou King of Heaven my treasure Thou ART!”
“High King of heaven , my victories won. May I reach heaven’s joy, bright heaven’s SON. Heart of my own heart…
whatever befall… STILL BE MY VISION, Oh Ruler of all.” (Be Thou My Vision, 8th Century Irish Hymn).
The foundation? Faith – costly, sacrificial, precious faith – in the ‘High King of heaven’, my victories won. He wore a crown of thorns, so that one day…I can wear a shiny one. And that shiny crown I will receive, I will give it to Him and lay it at His feet!