Same Road, Different Ride
Why does the 5PM commute cause frustration to some drivers, but create a place of solace for others? How is it that hot water can harden an egg, but soften a potato? It’s the very same element, yet it yields a different response in different places.
Such is the way with God's Word. While sharing the good news, one person drinks it in like cool water in a desert place. Another looks as if you just told them their newborn child was (pause) "interesting". The same cooling water that quenched the thirst of one, burned like an insult in the mouth of the other. Can this really be?
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (1 Cor 1:18)
It’s common to hope and endure to the end with every garden we water. We share the Truth and endure the harsh words of a hardened heart, hoping he or she will repent. We share God's love and stay in the unequally yoked partnerships because a good Christian 'wouldn't walk away'. Perhaps we need to be reminded that some have already rejected Christ in their hearts (John 12:37-40).
This doesn't mean we get to give up or take offense when someone doesn’t receive the good seed of the gospel. But we should recall: We're only called to sew or water; it's God who gives the increase. The power is not in our delivery, but in the Seed - the Word - itself. We can't even really know the ground we’re sewing in. (1 Cor 3:6-18)
Three of the four gospels provide a great reminder of the different responses we may get, when the seed of the Word is sewn. Remember the Parable of the four soils? Remind yourself gently, “This really isn’t such good news for someone who is perishing”. It can help to soften the blow to your ego; and it can soften your delivery too.
So maybe we don’t know which drivers we’ll be riding with when 5:00 comes. But one thing is for sure, the road is fairly the same. The major difference in the driver who hates the ride and the one who loves it, is that the latter knows he needs it. The other simply hasn’t seen the value of the journey and can’t wait to be done.