"These are the ones along the path, where the word is sown: when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word that is sown in them. And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: the ones who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy. And they have no root in themselves, but endure for awhile; then, when tribulation or persecution arises, they fall away."
Love that Rocky Road ice cream, do not like being on too many Rocky Roads of life. One is easy and palatable. The other requires faith, determination, and the will to win. Problem with addiction, we love that ice cream because it is instant, easy, and so tasty. That road though, it is a test of will and often is what forges character, which is something we usually lack until we hit bottom or are court ordered.
What we miss while traveling on any kind of rocky patch of life is the blessing that comes from enduring. Blessing and confident assurance that if we made it through this one, we can do the next one too! Many Psalms say in so many words, "if God is with me, bring it on." There is absolutely no substitute for the forging of iron sharpening iron, to prepare for that next rocky road that you know is coming.
We never know what is coming next on that road, but our faith tells us before we travel who is with us in the struggle. So any attempt by us to shortcut, postpone or not pay attention to how that "word" Jesus mentioned was planted in us, is not allowing it to grow to maturity within us. And when it does mature, we won't be all giddy just to hear a great sermon, we will actually go out and live it!
And when that next Rocky Road comes along we will just consider it a normal occurrence that leads to a greater "root" growth and blessing! Faith is forged in the battle, not by sitting on the sidelines eating ice cream.
In honor of Willie Mae Bush and her struggle to beat cancer!
Glenn is an ex-Marine Viet Nam vet who is also a recovering alcoholic, clean and sober for 30 years. He has been involved in start up and ongoing recovery ministry at North Atlanta Church and Campus for the last two decades. He has a passion for outreach and to spread the message that the answer to lasting and fulfilling recovery from addiction is in a relationship with Jesus Christ. He and the ATB team are available to assist in your questions or needs on an individual basis and will do so maintaining complete confidentiality. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.