It Is No Secret
I love the Bush's baked beans TV commercials. The brand's marketing plot is based on Duke, a loveable but ornery golden retriever who forever tries to share the family's prized recipe, only to be foiled each time by his owner, Jay who is just as determined to guard it. (Click here to roll that beautiful bean footage.)
When it comes to the recipe for my own joy, or for any success or achievement I may accomplish in life, I wonder sometimes if I am too often like Jay, who holds back and guards it like a treasured family secret.
For example, it's easy to praise God for blessings and answered prayers within the context of a church service among our church family, isn't it? But I really need to be more like Duke, who looks for opportunities to share the recipe outside the family every chance he gets.
Do others know the secret ingredient in my life is the Lord?
Admittedly, I could be more cognizant of ways to sneak the recipe of God's grace into conversations with those outside the family of God. After all, like the old hymn says, "It is no secret what God can do. What he's done for others, he'll do for you." Others should know I do not always have it all together, that I'm fully aware of my own imperfections, but I follow a Savior who does have it all together and is perfecting me. But how does it work?
A shared testimony does not always have to be a dramatic conversion or healing, although no doubt God is still in the business of doing just that when He sees fit. The process of a changed life through Christ is beautiful whether it's instant or a work in progress.
Maybe just like a good old-fashioned family recipe, passed down and treasured by ordinary folks, a simple, effective testimony could begin with "Once, I really struggled with _______," and end with "but I prayed about it and _______."
Or maybe "When our family went through _______, it was hard to see God working at the time, but looking back now we realize _______." People will appreciate the simplicity of the recipe and want to try it themselves. They don't have to go to the store for gourmet ingredients. They can come as they are with sincere hearts and simple faith, and God provides the rest.
Has anyone ever shared a recipe with you that contained a seemingly odd ingredient, but it proved to be phenomenal? I can think of roasts simmered in a Crock-Pot with a can of Dr Pepper or brownies baked with black beans for hidden nutrients and moistness. Sometimes you just have to try it yourself to believe how good it is!
I believe that Christ can be that universal key ingredient in anyone's life. He can tenderize the toughest of meats (hearts), add hidden nutrients to our minds (peace, strength, patience), and give zing (joy) to the blandest of situations.
1 Peter 3:15 says to "sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear." I want to be more Duke-ish and ready more often to give a reason for the hope within me. For, truly, it's no secret that my source of strength, my source of hope is Christ alone.
In Christ Alone
Words and music by Keith Getty. Listen to Sister Jen Champine Bertolo sing it here.
In Christ alone will I glory
Though I could pride myself in battles won
For I've been blessed beyond measure
And by His strength alone I overcome
Oh, I could stop and count successes
Like diamonds in my hand
But those trophies could not equal
To the grace by which I stand
In Christ alone I place my trust
And find my glory in the power of the cross
In every victory let it be said of me
My source of strength, my source of hope
Is Christ alone.
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.