…though your riches increase do not set your heart on them. Psalm 62:10
I recently read a tragic story about a doctor that tried desperately to save a young child trapped under a heavy rock just below the surface of some water. He did everything to try and lift the rock with no effect, so he ran to a near by home to get assistance. It took a few men to finally lift the stone however the little one had already tragically passed away. The doctor so distraught played and replayed the situation in his mind feeling he should have been able to save the child. Walking through this same area he noticed a nearby garden hose and it hit him he had been asking the wrong question all along! He had been thinking the problem was the rock so he had been focusing on the question – how can I remove this rock? When in actuality the rock wasn’t what killed the child it was that he was under water and could not breathe… he should have been asking himself how can I get him to breathe?! If he had been trying to solve that problem he would have noticed the garden hose, cut a piece to use as sort of a snorkel for the child to get air until they could remove the stone. “A problem understood is a problem half solved.”
I had the privilege of hearing a wonderful sermon given by a young man wise beyond his years on the passage in Luke 15 about the prodigal son. The prodigal begins life trying to celebrate me, myself and I like much of our world today and if I’m honest like me too much of the time. But gosh that way of living always lands you like the prodigal in a pile of pig muck. Unfortunately though many of us, your’s truly included have at times done a pretty good job of making our pig pens look good but like the preacher said at the end of the day its still just a pig pen.
We all, like the prodigal have a choice to make and God will honor our choice to go our own way or to follow Him. Maybe as we gaze into a new year it should be a time of, as Luke 15:17 states, When he came to his senses… to realize something bigger than me/myself and I is going on, that there is a better way to live! Coming to your senses will inevitably invoke some kind of action as it did for the prodigal in the very next verse (18) I will set out and go… Where is your life going?
Maybe you see you are in a pile of pig muck but you expect someone or something else to fix it. John 1:14 says, The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. Flesh, vulnerable flesh! To a people that would not return the favor! Not that He might RISK His life but that He would GIVE His life for us! He came fully aware He would die in our place so that we could choose to turn from our sinful ways and receive abundant life that can only be found in Jesus, the only One worthy of celebration! He is the Wonderful Counselor (Isaiah 9:6) so when we realize we are in a pile of muck lets choose to take responsibility and humbly come before the Wonderful Counselor who became vulnerable flesh yet remained without sin for your sake and mine. He knows what it feels like to be treated unfairly to feel like the plan should go another way, the feeling of abandonment, prayers not being answered, no one knows better than the Wonderful Counselor! Jesus already took the first step what more do we expect?! Step out of the muck into His open arms – He can’t wait to celebrate you! THAT is good news right there!
Apart from Him we can bear no fruit, we can do nothing (John 15:4-5). Have we deceived ourselves into thinking we can do this thing called life on our own?! Have we chosen to build our lives on the sand rather than the Rock? (Matthew 7:24-29) New’s flash, the storm hit both ways of life folks but which house was left standing in the end?! The one built on the Rock!
As we all glance at 2018 just about in the rear view mirror and gaze into the future of brand new, fresh and clean 2019 are we asking ourselves the right questions? Are we running around just trying to fix the latest big rock on our chest as we literally suffocate under the way of the world? Are we just looking for a temporary fill rather than to be FULL-filled?! Folks the Word became flesh to dwell with us, might we make it our hearts deepest desire in 2019 and beyond to continually ask this question as it says in Psalm 27:4 One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple. No more running, no more muck, turn to Jesus and be saved!
There is a whole world out there that needs to breathe, needs the saving work of Jesus, are we asking the right questions? After all, “a problem understood is a problem half solved.”
Independent Read: Isaiah 45:22