The Word — ‘Before all else fails’

Published 9:00 am Sunday, February 13, 2022

Many folks, including myself at times, like to wait until the last minute to go to the “last ditch effort.” All else has failed, nothing else has worked and now finally as a last resort, we will go to the bottom of the barrel and try “whatever.” I think about the common fact that we usually find our keys in the last place we looked. We tried everything else and “oh, they must be in the refrigerator!” Think about yourself or a family member who avoids the doctor. Ignore the cough, ignore the sniffle, ignore the pain, try home remedies, over the counter medicine, supplements, ice packs, heating pads, everything else and then finally, they walk through the door at the doctor’s office.

Ironically, it’s the same when it comes to the spiritual life of some folks. Their life hits rock bottom and then they pick up their bible. Their loved one falls ill and then they turn to prayer. The walk-in the church when nothing else has worked.

I applaud them for taking those steps. It takes courage and in many cases humility. And in some cases, it is not too late. Imagine what their lives would have been like in terms of a flourishing relationship with God through Christ had they taken those steps sooner.

Maybe we would not be in the situation we are in if we had started talking to God sooner. Maybe we would have turned our lives around for the better if we had read God’s word more often. Maybe our faith would be stronger and we would have more comfort and peace when that loved one falls ill had we been walking closer with Christ daily instead of grabbing hold of his “robe” in the final moments.

James 4:13-14 reminds us of the brevity of life and in many ways should encourage us to take those steps in our faith or start our practicing our faith sooner rather than later.

“Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.”

Today is the day to start praying. Today is the day to start studying the Bible. Today is the day to start walking and talking with Christ. There is no guarantee of tomorrow. These steps may not be available tomorrow.

Pray for the good health now., Pray for your healthy loved ones now and give thanks for their health. Pray and petition God now for his protection and guidance; deliverance and intercession before it is even needed.

Our spiritual life should not be a “last ditch effort” after we have tried everything else.

REV. BARRY VASSAR is pastor at Fitzgerald Memorial Baptist. He can be reached at fitzgeraldmemorial@gmail.com.