“That’s all there is.”
I couldn’t believe it. Really?
I had become a believer the previous May, near the end of my freshman year in college. After spending a frustrating summer vacation back home, fending off my mother’s determined efforts to undermine my fledgling faith, I was finally back at school, eager to grow spiritually. Until two weeks prior to “accepting Jesus as my personal Savior,” I’d been a fervent atheist. I’d never even been to church. Now it seemed as if there was so much to learn about God! So I turned to the person who had answered my questions last spring.
“OK. I’m reading my Bible. I’m praying. Now what?”
And the answer came, “That’s it. That’s all there is.”
If you’ve paid much attention to advertising, you’re familiar with the old “bait and switch” tactic. You know the scheme—the ad in the paper features a hot used car for a ridiculous price, but when you show up to buy it, you learn that it was “just sold”—but here’s another one, only a bit beat up and for a lot more money than you’d planned to spend. Would you like to go for a test drive?
How successful are you at being a Christian? If you’re like me, you have your ups and downs. Some days I’m full of faith; other times I doubt. Sometimes my prayers are answered, but not always. I may gain a victory in one part of my life, but not in another.
For years, as I slowly grew in my knowledge and understanding of God’s ways, my response to failure was to try harder. I’d confess my mess and promise to get it right the next time. Likely as not, I’d fail again. Like Paul, I’d gripe (but not as eloquently) about my inability to get it right.
So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?
Last month, I whined about discussed the dearth of churches that disciple believers to maturity and then keep them well fed on spiritual meat. It’s good to point out problems, but more helpful to put forward suggestions on how to fix those problems. So, what do we do when we’re hungry for more of God, and church is only offering Happy Meals?
We’re taking a break from talking about food and budgets. I’m an avid gardener, and it’s time to start this year’s vegetable garden. A “blessed event” this morning inspired the following thoughts:
My lettuce seedlings are coming up! Seeing those tiny cotyledons spread under the plant lights always gives me a thrill. This year is no different. After months of stark leafless branches and brown fields, anything green is a treat. Plus, there’s the promise of salad in those tiny leaves.
In a strange way, this is my favorite time to garden. In my tiny indoor plot of germinating plants, there are no bugs. No hail comes to flatten the fragile seedlings. No dry winds, or freezing temperatures. My growing conditions are as close to perfect as I can make them. This is a great place to be if you’re a baby plant.