Going to Tunisia has given me a whole new perspective on the parable comparing the house-building techniques of wise and foolish men. It’s easy to understand the foolishness of building your house (or your life) on the shifting sands of world culture, because that changes with every wind of whim, almost imperceptibly eroding away tiny particles of belief until you have no foundation left and everything on which you base your life is left in ruins. Much better to build your house on a Rock…or be a city “set on a hill.” However, in Tunisia, we also saw many houses in the wilderness that were literally built by digging into the rocks! This is truly ingenious, because the underground homes are cooler and protected from scorching heat and sand-blasting winds. We had the privilege of visiting one of these homes on our trip. (In fact, one that was used in the Star Wars movies, but more on that later…) Today I just want to discuss what life is like in these homes built in the rock.It takes an average of 3 years to chip away enough rock to build a small home, although elaborate homes may have several rooms built off a courtyard.Life is simple for these people: simple expectations, and simple pleasures. An oven is carved out of the rock, just like so many things! Water is collected in a little reservoir at the low end of the courtyard. Thick, rough-hewn doors protect the occupants at night. Not a very glamorous life, but it works for them, and I found myself very much admiring the hospitality and pluck of these people who survive and have learned to cope with such harsh circumstancesby digging into the rock. I think all of us go through some wilderness experiences in our lives.It’s good to know that we can dig into the Rock and find refuge!
“Therefore whosoever hears these sayings of mine, and does them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock” (Matthew 7:24-25). “The Lord is my defense; and my God is the rock of my refuge.” (Psalm 94:22).