More and more adults today are waking up to the reality that their lives are dysfunctional. Life is just not working for them, particularly their relationships. They don’t know why and they don’t know what to do about it. Over time it becomes obvious that they themselves are the problem. The pain in their lives is self-inflicted. Then they wonder if they can change and become the type of person they really want to be.
A person who found himself in this situation was theologian and philosopher, Augustine (354-430 A.D.). He lived a very hedonistic, self-indulgent lifestyle which only lead to emptiness and despair. Over time he realized how weak and feeble he was and therefore concluded he needed something outside himself to come and transform his life. He finally concluded the power outside of himself that he so desperately needed was Christ.
When you read the parables of Jesus, you notice that he often compares the Gospel to a tiny seed. I don’t think we realize the paradoxical strength of a seed. Take the tiny acorn, for instance, that seems so small and powerless. Yet there is everything in that acorn to grow into a large and powerful oak tree. And out of that oak tree, over the years will come thousands of more acorns. In essence, over time a single acorn could cover the world with oak trees.
The Gospel is like an acorn. When it comes into a person’s heart, its organic power is released. If we will nurture that seed it will grow and will eventually become what Isaiah calls “An oak of righteousness” (Isaiah 61:3). We will become the people God intended us to be.
Tim Keller loves to tell the true story of G. Campbell Morgan, who was visiting Italy and one day wandered into an old cemetery. There was a grave that was centuries old. It was apparently the grave of some prominent, wealthy man. On that grave was an enormous, thick slab of marble. Somehow, an acorn had years before fallen into the grave, and over the centuries grown out under the side of the marble. It had become a huge tree and cracked the slab of marble and rolled it off into two pieces. This was so amazing to people – that a little acorn could do this over time. Yet, when a little acorn is given a chance to release its power it can do something a team of horses could not do.
The seed of course represents Jesus, and He releases His power into our lives when we surrender our hearts to Him – and then grow into our relationship with Him.
And this is the question we need to answer – What kind of slabs do we have over our hearts?
It could be fear, anger, a sense of hopelessness and despair, a broken relationship, or any weakness or struggle that you may be grappling with. I do not care how broken or dysfunctional we are on the inside. If you bring the power of Christ into your life He has the power to crack and roll that stone out of your life. This is the hope Christ offers to a broken world. It is the same hope he offers to you and me.
If you’re interested in reading more from Richard E. Simmons, check out his newest book Wisdom: Life’s Great Treasure. Available on our bookstore and on Amazon.com.
“This book creates a map for readers of all ages that can be referred to again and again in their life’s journey.” – Kari Kampakis, blogger and author of Liked and 10 Ultimate Truths Girls Should Know.