Today's gospel reading is the parable of the sower and the seed. Of course this is a very familiar parable, and a favorite of a friend of mine. But today i saw it in a new light.
Here is an excerpt, from Jesus summation of the story:
"The seed is the word of God.
Those on the path are the ones who have heard,
but the Devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts
that they may not believe and be saved.
Those on rocky ground are the ones who, when they hear,
receive the word with joy, but they have no root;
they believe only for a time and fall away in time of temptation.
As for the seed that fell among thorns,
they are the ones who have heard, but as they go along,
they are choked by the anxieties and riches and pleasures of life,
and they fail to produce mature fruit.
But as for the seed that fell on rich soil,
they are the ones who, when they have heard the word,
embrace it with a generous and good heart,
and bear fruit through perseverance.” "--Luke 8
What really struck me today was the final sentence ...the ones who...embrace it with a generous and good heart and bear fruit through perseverance.
I just had a sad conversation with a person that I care about a lot, who told me that she has ruined her life with her choices recently. I encouraged her by saying that Jesus will always take you back in His loving arms, no matter what you have done. Her sad response was "that doesn't work for me".
She had recently went through a phase where she was gung ho for Jesus this past spring. She seems to go through this every now and then in her life--try out the Christian life for a bit and then something happens... I don't know what, and she falls away. I don't know exactly what are the ingredients that help some people push through all that happens in life and still cling to God with all their might and the ones who do not. If I did I would bottle it and give it away for free!
I accepted Jesus over 32 years ago, and have been clinging to Him tightly ever since. There have, of course been times that I have had a wanderlust, but they don't ever get a real grip on me. Its like the value of knowing and walking with Jesus for me is beyond anything else in this life. And the more I get to know Him the more valuable He becomes to me.
Perhaps my friend has never been wholly convinced that Jesus really really loves and forgives her completely, from tip to toe. Perhaps she just does not have the eyes to see the love and forgiveness in His eyes for her.
I wish I knew.