Add little strength daily
by Terry Broome
The giant cables that support the Golden Gate Bridge were woven in position one strand at a time by an ingenious little machine. It traveled the length of the cables leaving behind the strengthening influence of a single strand of wire. Today, that bridge is regarded as a masterpiece of structural strength by everyone who knows anything about bridges.
Christian living qualities are much like those huge cables, being woven a thread or a “strand” at a time, until the Christian becomes strong in the Lord. Peter aptly illustrates this truth by urging us to “add to your faith, virtue; and to virtue, knowledge; and to knowledge, temperance; and to temperance, patience; and to patience, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, charity” (II Peter 1:5-7).
One cannot expect in an instant to attain to the maturity in the Lord that can only come with the seasoning of time. As a babe in Christ, one will more easily be faced with discouragement and the temptation to go back into the world. The Lord exposed us to this possibility by teaching the parable of the sower and the seed (Luke 8: 5-18). Many people who receive a planting of the seed of the Word of God have no root, “which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away” (v. 13).
We are encouraged to, “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:” (1 Peter 2:2). The Hebrew writer rebukes Christians who do not use the milk properly. The natural progression is to grow from milk to strong meat. The strong meat belongs to those who “by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (Heb. 5:14). One strand at a time, we must allow experiences and study of the Scripture to weave within our souls that complete man who is strong in the Lord.
It’s a journey that one sets out on when becoming a Christian. We can’t see far enough down the road to know what we may become, but God has equipped us with the power to become far, far more than we are. That road will bring some bumps, bruises, setbacks, discouragements; but we’re not to despair. These are part of our fabrication, growth, development. “And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also; knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience, and experience, hope:” (Romans 5:3).
There is hope, even for a bungling young Christian, who makes his or her share of mistakes, to become a giant of a leader in the cause of Christ. We must carefully shape and mold these young lives through our encouragement, belief in them, and willingness to give them the opportunity to grow. Mature Christians have in their hands a great opportunity to help a babe in Christ get past discouragements, and to develop an appetite for doing the will of God. Remember, however, we can also become a part of the discouragement by failing to show a love for spiritual things in our own lives, or by speaking some harsh and critical word to one who is struggling with a “strand” while building the bridge of his life.
The author can be reached for comments at 256-574-2489.