The Leaning Tower of Pisa has not always been called the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Built from 1173 to 1372, the 12story, solid marble structure stands 17 feet out of line. After the first three stories were completed, the ground underneath began to sink. And thus it continues to lean until someday it may topple. A life that is built on shaky soil will be an unstable life. The foundations of life consist of the ground upon which you build. Whether you're a teenager, an adolescent, a young adult, or a senior citizen, you are always building a foundation.

Now lets look at the storms of life and note that THE STORMS OF LIFE CONFRONT EVERY HUMAN BEING. Jesus said both men, the wise man and the foolish man were surprised by the suddenness of the storm. It matters not your educational background, your place of position or prestige, we are all confronted with life's storms. You may be upper class, middle class, low class or no class; storms are no respecters of persons.

Look at the intensity of the storm. The storms Jesus spoke of are described with deliberate accuracy and similarity. From what we can tell it may have been one and the same storm. He described them with identical words. Jesus used five conjunctions to show the intensity of the storm. In our English translations we lose this intensity. It reads like this: "And the rain came down and the streams rose and the winds blew and beat against that house and yet it did not fall." We need not go far to see the intensity of life's storms. Look at the Kennedy family. In the early 60's President John Fitzgerald Kennedy was assassinated on a street in downtown Dallas, Texas. Robert Kennedy, while campaigning for president, was assassinated. One of the Kennedy’s was born mentally retarded. Another lost a leg to cancer. It was a few years ago that David Kennedy, the son of the late Robert Kennedy, was found dead in his hotel room as a result of alcohol abuse. And we are aware of the Mary Jo Kopechne tragedy that has overshadowed Edward Kennedy. Our lives are obliterated at times by the intensity of the storms that confront each and every one of us. We are not exempt from storms of life. They are as much a part of life as breathing. That's the intensity of the storm.

There is also the diversity of the storm. Jesus, in relating the storm that hit both houses, used very descriptive language in explaining the storm. There are three dimensions of the storm. He said the rain came down so as to test the roof. He said the streams rose so as to test the foundation. And He said the wind blew and beat against the house so as to test the walls. That is the diversity and the intensity of life's storms that you and I are confronted with every day.

No matter the storm, Jesus is with us. Sometimes he is even carrying us.