Things are strange among several in our circle of friends and acquaintances. In the last three weeks, two men we’ve known in our “Wycliffe missionary” circle of friends have forsaken the faith. Not just doubt, forsaken it. Left it entirely. I’m perplexed. What would have to happen to make someone go from having God at not only the center of your life, supposedly, but the center of your livelihood and career …to being no longer a part of your life. That goes way beyond mid-life crisis. Way beyond.
I’m not saying I’ve never had doubts, but they’ve never lasted more than a few minutes. Not kidding. I seriously can’t wrap my brain around God not being a part of my life. I can’t. Since I was 5 or 6, God has been woven into just about every part of my life. Ripping Him out would be like …like ripping a dandelion out of a pot. You’d get a whole lot of dirt with it, and not left in the pot. …weird.
Weird, because as I was musing on it this afternoon, that’s the vision I got when I asked God what was going on. How could someone go from being a Christ-follower …to not? And the vision I got was of a plant with shallow roots. You know, the sort that comes up easily with the slightest yank. Kind of parallels the parable of the sower, I suppose. Anyway, I could sort of understand that. The plant is there, just not very established.
So, I guess that’s the difference. But, then, how deep are my roots, really? How deep could they be when they’ve not been nurtured by daily meditation in the Word and the spiritual disciplines? How deep could they be when I dawdle in sinful patterns and ignore it? How deep could they be when my plant gets only a little Son? –And I think that’s the wake-up call here for me. For the “plant” of life in Christ to grow, it has to have deep roots that can drink in the nourishment of prayer and meditation on Scripture. It needs those deep roots to hang on in the wind and storms. It has to be fed. A plant can’t idle and still continue life. So, that’s some encouragement, and an admonishment. I really shudder to say it, but I have to. There but for God’s grace would I go. And all the more reason for hungering and thirsting after that grace.
Make some time, will you, and pray for the two friends of ours who have left the faith. I really believe God is using this to bring them back stronger and deeper for His use, but in the meantime, they’ve both got hurting families, devastated wives, and a dark path until they come back to the Light. I encourage (implore, beg…) you to take a moment and bring them before the Throne. God needs to hear that more people care than just Him. Thanks.