The Beans

1 Thessalonians 5:17 "Pray continually." NIV

I had never made scratch baked beans but recently I decided to do so. I was amazed that the beans needed to not only 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 10 hours before they would be ready. Talk about needing softening up before becoming edible.

This bean revelation brought to mind the number of people I have met over the years who also need much patience and time when it comes to softening up spiritually. Their hearts are hard toward the gospel and our Lord Jesus Christ often for various reasons. Some were not raised with the faith. Others were yet experienced great hurt or disappointment from or lack of fulfillment in 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 slowly cook and their delicious smell filled the room I not only looked forward to eating them but was reminded to not 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 hearts and 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.

Lynne Phipps Atlin, B.C.

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