First, I have been surprised that since my last blogpost on November 1, the number of hits the blog gets each day more than tripled. That trend has continued for more than three months. I have no idea why, but I was hesitant to post another entry for fear that the visitors who wanted to read about Bob Janoe would give up. But it’s been long enough now, I think, so here’s another post.
Story one: Not long ago my older son told me about a friend of his who owns a turtle. The turtle loves the taste of strawberries and watermelon. Any portion of either fruit laid in his way wouldn’t last long. Then one day the turtle got hold of some red pepper, which apparently astonished him no end. One can only imagine his little turtle eyes popping open with shock. After that he refused to eat anything that was bright red. Even when his owner tried to tempt him with juicy pieces of watermelon or strawberry, placed directly in his path, he would turn aside. Obviously he didn’t trust his sense of smell as much as he trusted his sight. (I was surprised that the turtle could discern the color red, but apparently it is so.)
Story two: About twenty-five years ago I acquired a ring with an attractive tsavorite stone. The ring was a gift, and I had a choice of an emerald, a tourmaline, or a tsavorite. The tsavorite was just the right shade of my favorite color, so that’s the stone I selected.
Recently I became curious about tsavorites and looked ’em up online (and a story about a REALLY BIG ONE here) and learned that the stone was discovered as recently as 1967, and only became publicly known in 1974. In doing my research, I read an account of how a native found an enormous tsavorite of particularly brilliant color, and tried to sell it to a gemologist in the area for fifty dollars. Because the gem was so large (about the size of a couple of fists put together), the gemologist assumed it was only glass and, not wanting to be taken in, sent the native away—only to find out later that the stone was genuine and worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The lesson from both these stories? Many times we don’t trust the free grace of God when it is offered to us. We are afraid to take a risk or trust such an enormous offer of love. We are used to paying for things and are leery if someone offers a free gift of some fantastic item.
As Aslan said in The Magician’s Nephew, “Oh, Adam’s sons, how cleverly you defend yourselves against all that might do you good!” I have seen it many times in my ministry, how people are suspicious of grace, mercy, love, joy, and peace. It’s very sad—but how wonderful when the grace of God is gladly received and changes lives.