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Solid Food, Part 1

August 27, 2017

Enfamil Baby Formula at Kroger, Author ParentingPatch (CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported)

“For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe.  But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (Heb. 5: 13-14).

Too many Christians are unschooled in their faith.  They are, in effect, still babes.  Because of this, their faith is not the comfort to them it could be, and not the example to others it should be.

Confronted by the harsh realities of this existence, immature Christians are at first surprised that God has not shielded them from the pain and hardship to which mankind is liable, then angered at having been sold what they view as a bill of goods about Him.

  • Surely, Christians are not subject to cancer or plague; do not suffer amputation, blindness or other devastating illness or physical impairment.
  • Surely, Christians do not struggle with depression, anxiety or other mental disorders.
  • Surely, Christians do not have miscarriages; their children are not born with birth defects, do not die before reaching majority.
  • Surely, Christians are never in the path of tornadoes and other natural disasters.
  • Surely, they are not involved in auto accidents, plane crashes, and other results of fatal human error.
  • Surely, Christians are not the victims of bombings, rapes, and other acts of deliberate violence.

Most Christians would recognize these assumptions as mistaken. Many though would ask why they, themselves, should be subject to any of these trials.  “Why me, Lord?” is a familiar refrain.  We are so self-important we feel ourselves entitled to call the Lord God Almighty to task.

Still, how can all this evil be reconciled with a loving God who promises us care and protection?  Why do the good suffer?  That is the fundamental question with which mankind has wrestled throughout the ages.  It may be the single question over which most have stumbled.

He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler.  You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day, nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday” (Ps. 91: 4-6).

Are these words true?  Can God be trusted?

If we expect to be exempt from every harm, rescued from every danger by virtue of the fact we are Christian, we will be badly disappointed. Jesus, Himself, said, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me” (Luke 9: 23). That is a promise of suffering, diametrically opposed to the claims of easy fame, fortune, and miraculous cures many televangelists hold out as lures to the unwary.

The hard truth is that this is a hard world.  We are living in the ruins of Paradise, often doing our best to destroy what remains.  The “fairness” we demand of God assumes a perfect world that does not exist.  Sin has already had its impact on Creation.  Our vaunted righteousness is like “filthy rags” (Isaiah 64: 6).

Even in am imperfect world, however, God remains Sovereign.  We owe Him our very existence, whether we choose to acknowledge that or not.

The adversary, of course, has all this flawed world can offer at his disposal.  Power, influence, wealth, and acclaim are among Satan’s enticements.  But the evils of this world betray his true intent.  He pursues the destruction of mankind, for the sole purpose of causing pain to the God who loves us.

Satan seeks to demonstrate that mankind will not love, will not believe in or obey God, if deprived of His blessings – health, home, livelihood, loved ones, and ultimately life, itself.  This challenge hinges on free will – another gift from God.  But God is certain of the outcome; He knew it before ever time began.

Salvation is the proof that love is stronger than hate. Our Lord, Himself, suffered what we suffer.  Over and above that, He took our iniquities upon His shoulders.  His sacrifice won the war in which we engage.

Our struggles evidence God’s glory – not some distant God, uninvolved with His Creation, but the Son of Man who became human and gave His life for us.  God’s capacity to overcome the most egregious damage, use even evil for good, is demonstrated in our lives.  We but follow in His footsteps.  That makes our suffering infinitely valuable…which is one thing Paul would call solid food.

Originally posted 5/9/12

This series will continue next week with “When God Is Silent”


From → Christian, Faith, Religion

  1. Amen! This is really well done.

  2. My readings of late have me looking at the roots of our faith, and this post makes me think of two martyr stories that have affected me.

    First is the story of Polycarp who, at age 86, was enjoined by the official overseeing his execution to honor his gray hairs by offering a simple sacrifice to the divinity of Caesar. Polycarp is said to have replied, “Eighty and six years I have served Him, and He has done me no wrong. How then can I blaspheme my King and Savior? You threaten me with a fire that burns for a season, and after a little while is quenched; but you are ignorant of the fire of everlasting punishment that is prepared for the wicked.”

    The second story is of the martyrdom of Rabbi Akiva, who was martyred during the same time period, for teaching Torah. The version in the Babylonian Talmud tells of Akiva’s response to his students, who asked him how he could yet offer prayers to God [the Shema]. He says to them, “All my life I was worried about the verse, ‘with all your soul’ (and the sages expounded this to signify), even if He takes away your soul. And I said to myself, when will I ever be able to fulfill this command? And now that I am finally able to fulfill it, I should not?” Then he extended the final word Echad (“One”) until his life expired with that word.

    Two pious followers of God, two men martyred because of their devotion to God. It is inconceivable to me that anyone could believe that Christians couldn’t suffer pain and loss in this world.

    • Thank you for sharing these moving stories. We are surrounded by a cloud witnesses (Heb. 12: 1). But they do us little good if we are ignorant of their existence.

  3. You know Anna, I have reached the point in my walk with Christ where I have almost zero tolerance for the hard sell of wealth and prosperity hawked by TV preachers. In fact, I seldom listen to any of them because I can’t bear their dishonest appeals by which they fleece the flock.

    All that aside, I am struck by the depth of understanding you have of God’s Word, and reading your posts is always a breath of fresh air in the midst of so many whose motives are, shall we say, questionable? This post is indicative of a level of knowledge and wisdom gained from many years of personal Bible study,and it is evident that God is using you to reach a wide audience. I think it is just incredible how God uses people from all backgrounds to build His church!

    • You bring tears to my eyes, Ron. I cannot claim credit for years of Bible study, so much as years of experience wrestling with God. Why He has been so patient with me, I cannot fathom. That is, of course, a measure of His love for His children. I am the least of those; even so, He can use me (Eph. 3: 8).

      Your faith is an inspiration to me, and your friendship an enormous encouragement.

      With gratitude,


  4. This is excellent Anna, thank you for it. You make a number of points that are very good. I think the TV preachers are running the family business more than anything else.

  5. Truth be told!

  6. I love the theme of your blog. Just started following.

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