Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Dry Rot

The light is among you for a little while
longer. Walk while you have the light,
lest darkness overtake you…
                                  John 12:35 

     The car, in pristine condition, had been garaged and unused for two decades. The estate sale boasted a “great value—like new” sign on the bumper of the old car. It sold quickly. The purchaser jumped behind the wheel with great expectation. A 1960 Lincoln—what a find! When he arrived home, he blew the horn and his family came to view the classic automobile. Everyone jumped in for a ride. After thirty minutes they started for home, but then the unthinkable happened! Dry rot! The tires looked great—new—but once exposed to daily use they quickly deteriorated.

     Christians can experience dry rot. After salvation or a mountaintop experience with the God of all Creation, some become satisfied and never seek to walk shedding light in the darkness. They develop dry rot like the tires of the old Lincoln. Their testimony includes nothing new for the Lord. When discussions arise about the things of God, their conversation turns to what He did in their lives twenty years ago on a mission trip or in a ministry.

     I have been guilty of short periods of dry rot! Have you? Be honest! Sometimes God allows us to participate in periods of energizing productive ministry. Sometimes, like the apostle Paul in a prison cell, He draws us aside to be quiet and contemplative—but never nonproductive for the cause of Christ.

     As you think about today, ask yourself if you are shedding the light of Christ while there is time or if you have become content in remembering all the things you have done for Christ in the past. Wow! Seeing that in print makes me shiver. All the things I have done for Christ—sounds ridiculous when you say it aloud!

     When can we finally say I am done working in the church, ministering or telling people about Jesus? How old do we have to be before we can legitimately quit? How ill do we have to become before we say enough is enough? Only you can decide whether your time will be quiet, contemplative and productive or whether you will choose to be a non-productive Christian.

     Even in death, Christ gave witness to His Father asking forgiveness for the very ones who beat, tortured, spat upon and nailed Him to the cross. I cannot help but ask myself what I will do for Christ as I age. How would I react if stricken with a life-threatening illness? What if I am sequestered with a family member who needs care 24/7? How will I walk in the light if any of those things happen?

     I do not have answers to those questions. But this I know—my God will supply all my needs – and yours (Philippians 4:19), and I need to tell others about Jesus, about the love of God, about His mercy and goodness. I pray that I never have to write dry rot on the list of my imperfections. What about you?

©JP 2013

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