You gotta love modern medicine! My first semester in seminary I came down with a nasty sinus infection. I went my local Urgent Care. The Doc prescribed some really potent antibiotics and I was back to my studies within 36 hours. Amazing and awesome!!
But this must be frustrating for some docs because not every ailment can be treated with pills. I think about the obesity epidemic and the numerous health problems that creates. There’s no pill that fixes that in 36 hours. But I wonder how many people think any health problem should be fixable in 36 hours with pills?!
This mindset is also prevalent in the church world. “Pastor, can’t you just prescribe a couple of pills for us to take that will fix our marriage?”
“Sure! Let me get those for ya! I keep them in my desk behind my ‘Knucklehead’ file.”
The ailment determines the prescription. Obesity requires something different than a sinus infection. Same is true with fixing marriages, character flaws, addiction issues, etc. Jesus says all these problems originate in the heart (Mark 7). But the heart trouble he refers to needs much more than a stent.
I believe one of the reasons people will fail to persevere in the faith is that they don’t want to invest in the long haul. It’s hard work! And it’s easier to thrown in the towel than keep at it when progress is slow and change is immeasurably small. But this is the way it works!
We live by faith in what can be. We don’t live by sight in what we want to be right now. This is what it means to set our hearts and minds on things above (Col. 1). Bottom line: plod ahead. Be faithful in the ordinary spiritual disciplines God has given us which he uses over time to change us into the people we’d like to become right now.