Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Praise Him All Ye Little Children"1 (Lyrics)
1 Thessalonians 5:17 – Pray continually. (NIV)
I had never made baked beans from scratch, but recently, I decided to do so. I was amazed that the beans needed not only to soak overnight but also to boil gently for another hour after soaking and then to cook on low in my slow cooker for yet another ten hours before they would be ready. Talk about needing softening up before becoming edible!
This bean revelation brought to mind the number of people that I have met over the years who also need much patience and time when it comes to softening up spiritually. For various reasons, their hearts are hard toward the gospel and our Lord Jesus Christ. Some were not raised with the faith. Others were, but experienced great hurt, disappointment, or lack of fulfillment from their faith.
Whatever the case, their hearts are hard, and hard hearts need constant softening through prayer and consistent, loving, Christian example.
As my beans continued to cook slowly and their delicious smell filled the room, not only did I look forward to eating them, but also, I was reminded not to give up on those in my life who have not yet softened to the power of the Holy Spirit's caress upon their lives. Rather, I was encouraged to continue to be diligent in my prayers for God's will to be done in their lives, and in mine, as I seek to be an example of God's unconditional and gracious love toward them.
Prayer: Father God, thank You that Your Holy Spirit is at work in the lives of those whose hearts have not yet softened toward the love and call of Jesus Christ. Remind us daily to be faithful in prayer, trusting that You are able to draw them to Yourself according to Your good and perfect will. In Christ's name, we ask. Amen.