PawPaw's Penknife

     PawPaw, my grandfather, had a beautiful yard which he lovingly tended with painstaking care. Every blade of grass was neatly cut and every hedge trimmed in a perfect line. PawPaw worked in his yard daily. Rising early, he would carefully walk the yard surveying his domain. If water was needed, he gave it. If nutrients were missing, he fed it. I loved the feel of his lawn on my bare feet. The grass was always thick and lush, a deep shade of green. You needn’t worry about stepping on a briar for he didn’t permit anything but grass to grow in his lawn. He was diligent in watching out for weeds, keeping a vigilant lookout any time he was in the yard. If he saw one beginning to emerge, he would immediately take his trusty penknife out of his pocket ready to do battle. PawPaw would insert the blade into the ground right next to the weed, press the weed against the blade with his thumb and then pull them out together, removing both the weed and its root. He was a warrior and weeds were his enemy.

     Just like a weed in PawPaw’s lawn, doubt can grow in the garden of our faith. It may sprout from a seed within our heart or it may be planted by the enemy. Either way once there, it seeks to take root and grow, spreading from one into many. Yet, every single weed of doubt must be removed for even one can weaken our faith and the power of our prayer. In the book of James we are told that doubt blocks our prayers from being answered.

     If you experience doubt, you are not alone. We don’t start with a full and perfect faith. We are all like Thomas who doubted what the others had seen or Peter who faltered while walking on water. Thomas failed to believe Christ’s promise of resurrection. Peter failed to believe in His power. When we doubt, we fail to understand the awesome character of God.

     Just as we don’t start with a perfect faith, we don’t each start at the same faith level. In Romans we learn that God gives each of us a different measure of faith. Our task is not to achieve the faith of someone else but to grow whatever measure we are given until the one day “we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:13).

     While we grow towards the whole measure, weeds of doubt will creep into our faith garden but we have a much better tool than a penknife to eradicate them. God’s word is more powerful than any manmade tool. Along with prayer, it is the most powerful weapon to battle that which would weaken or destroy our faith. Be proactive, ready with scripture to combat doubt when it comes.

     When doubt says:
  •  God’s love is conditional. Faith says God’s love never fails for it is written, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness”.(Jeremiah 31:3)
  • God will hold my past against me. Faith says God forgives completely for it is written, “as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us”. (Psalm 103:12)
  • My sin is too big for God to forgive. Faith says God forgives all things for it is written, He “forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases” (Psalms 103:3)
  • God isn’t good because bad things happen. Faith says God is always good for it is written “and we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose”. (Romans 8:28)
  • God is distant and far away. Faith says God is near for it is written“The Lord is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth”. (Psalm 145:18)
  • I can’t count on God to take care of me. Faith says God meets all my needs for it is written, “The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing”. (Psalms 34:10)

     When Jesus spoke to His disciples, He was also speaking to us. To Peter, He said “you of little faith, why did you doubt?” (Matthew 14:31) To Thomas, He said “Stop doubting and believe." (John 20:27) Like PawPaw we need to be diligent, ever ready to go into battle against our weeds of doubt for we are God’s warriors and doubt is an enemy.

1 comment:

  1. A wonderful post--full of things to remember as we journey on earth.