by Dixie Thomas
On a cool November afternoon, my, husband, son, and I went to the Myakka State Park to ride bikes on the trails. As we pedaled down a dirt road beneath the beautiful canopy of oak trees, we came upon a sign that marked the spot where a house once stood in the 1800’s. The house belonged to the foreman of a cattle rancher and land owner, Mrs. Birtha Palmer. We were curious if we could find any remains of the house, so we walked through bushes and trees to discover some stone work to the foundation and the old well. I wondered what happened to the house. Nothing was left but some of the stones the house had sat upon and part of the well-- such minimal clues. Was the house destroyed? Was the house moved somewhere else, destroyed by a storm, or did it eventually disintegrate because it was abandoned and neglected? The sign gave no explanation to the demise of the house, only some of its history.
Houses all have stories, purposes, and potential legacies. One of the primary factors that determine the life of a house is the foundation the house is built upon. Is the foundation solid? Does the house align well with the foundation and cornerstone? Every house has some sort of foundation, and they can come in different forms. For example, in Florida, the early cracker style houses were built on blocks or stones, and the wood frame houses sat a few feet above the ground. Blocks or stones were first laid in the corners and spaced as necessary according to the weight of the house’s frame. Then, the house was built on the foundation. The spaces in between the blocks and in between the ground allowed air to flow under the house and help keep it cool. It also elevated the house above ground to keep the wood frame away from moisture or water. These houses could also be moved or lifted off the stone foundation and transported to another location if desired.
In 2023, I had a dream of one such house. I saw in the dream an old wooden cracker style house that sat upon a block foundation. The house had wooden ship-lap siding painted white, and though it was old, it was all in good condition. It was functional, livable, in- tact and had its own charm as many old houses do. But as I stood to the south side of the house looking towards the face of the house, I saw a large group of people surrounding the house, walking around the structure, looking inside the windows and making noise and chatter. I wondered what was going on. Suddenly, a few people approached me and said, “We don’t like where the house is positioned. We want to move the house over to the left.” I didn’t know who these people were, but they were energetic and adamant about the change they wanted to make. I said to them that I didn’t think that was a good idea to move the house and tried to explain how the plumbing could be damaged. And, you couldn’t simply “move the house over.” But no one paid any attention to what I said, instead they wanted me to help “move the house.”
All at once, the group of people surrounded the house and placed their hands and feet on the outer walls and began pushing the house to the left. To my surprise, the house began to move over in small increments, more and more to the left. They kept pushing, and the house moved a few feet. It was just enough that the edges of the house came off the foundation stones and the sides of the house that fell off the foundation collapsed. Everyone stood and stared at the house. I walked inside the house to see the damage. Wooden walls had split and counter tops and cabinets and parts of the floor had come apart. I was sad to see the damage, but I told the people as they stood and stared, that the” house can be repaired if we put it back on the foundation.”
The dream of the house troubled me. I pondered over the dream and wondered about its significance. Certainly, we can have silly dreams that emerge from our subconscious mind. Sometimes they have little significance. But, at times I believe God communicates with us through dreams. I began to pray and ask God to show me what He might be communicating to me through the dream. The first thing that he spoke to me was that He wanted me to learn about the importance of “cornerstones.” Almost immediately in the days that followed, I would open the Bible for my daily reading and it would fall open to a scripture relating to cornerstones and foundations. Isaiah 28:16 says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who trusts will never be dismayed.” Psalm 118:22-23 says, “The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; the Lord has done this and it is marvelous in our eyes.” Jesus quotes this verse in Matthew 21:42 referring to himself as the cornerstone rejected by men, but chosen by God.
Why are cornerstones important? In relation to architecture, a cornerstone was traditionally the first stone laid for a structure or building, and all the other stones were laid in reference to the cornerstone. A cornerstone marks the geographical location by orienting a building in a specific direction. All the other stones and sections of the house or building would line up with the cornerstone so that the structure would not be crooked. The cornerstone needed to be the strongest stone and was carefully crafted. It was the standard of measure and alignment. In addition, the total weight of a house or building would rest on the cornerstone. The cornerstone had to be solid enough to carry the weight. To remove the cornerstone would collapse the whole structure.
In the dream that I had, people wanted to reposition the house without regard to the foundation or cornerstone. Haven’t we seen shifts in our culture as people have attempted to build or conversely collapse the structures that God put in place for marriage, the family, the church and how people relate and are governed as a nation? I ponder over what has happened to the “houses” that are of significance in our lives—the home, the house of God (the church), and the white house. Have we repositioned the houses to our liking? Have we been building something entirely misaligned with God’s cornerstone?
According to God’s plan, Jesus is the cornerstone of our belief system, our salvation, the moral compass, and the guide for all our building. He gives us the one sure foundation for the family, church, and nation, and also direction for the building of each. If we see a collapse of these structures, then we must ask about where we have positioned ourselves and the structures we are building, in relationship to the cornerstone.
Is it not a relief to know that the weight of the home, the church, and the nation rest on the cornerstone? But we must align with the cornerstone, and recognize Christ as the head of all things. If you want to build upon an unshakeable foundation, then build on Jesus. If you want Jesus to carry the weight, then align with him. If you want to have security and stability and peace, and fullness of life, then build and align with Jesus Christ and his words. If you want to please the heart of God, then align with His cornerstone. It takes time to check your foundation, to be sure you are aligned with God’s Word, but if you don’t it could cost you everything.
I never got to see what happened to the house in my dream. Did someone rebuild and repair the house by shifting back to the foundation and aligning with the cornerstone? What will happen to the house? What will happen to the home, to marriage and family? To the church? What will become of this nation? Storms will come; the earth and its foundations are being shaken even now. The paramount question is this: What will you do with the cornerstone? Let me encourage you to check the foundations of your life today.
Dixie Thomas is a wife, mother, rancher, author, and certified life coach. Learn more about
Dixie at www.TheCompassLifeCoach.com