My husband and I had decided to have one of our favorite lunches, shrimp and grits. Now, we make a mean dish of shrimp and grits, dividing the responsibilities for the components between us.
My husband is in charge of the shrimp. He perfectly blends the cajun spices, lemon juice, butter and garlic then sautes the shrimp until they are tender and a beautiful pink.
The grits are my domain. Coloring the water with enough butter to make Paula Dean proud, the secret is to constantly stir them until they are soft and creamy, creating a perfect bed for the shrimp to rest upon.
We enjoy standing side by side at the stove as we each work on our own part of the dish. When we have timed things correctly, the shrimp are ready just as I have finished pouring the grits onto the plates.
This day, however, we realized we had one small problem. We had no grits.
"We can't have Shrimp and Grits without grits," my husband said.
"No," I answered, "You can stir that water all day long and it won't make grits if you don't have any grits in the pot."
Immediately as the words left my mouth I thought of a deeper truth they represented.
Many people who label themselves "Christian" try to make a "Christian life" by their activity, by their good works, by the things they do. They only have one problem. . .they don't have grits in the pot. They don't actually have Christ residing in their hearts. They have never entered into that personal relationship in which they accept the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord.
As we sat at the table, we thoroughly enjoyed our lunch. The shrimp were incredible, just spicy enough and with that hint of the sea fresh seafood imparts. The grits were smooth, buttery and creamy. The yellow cherries we had with them were sweet and soft. It was a perfect lunch, but it reminded me of a more perfect truth.
It is the Person who lives in us who makes us what we are as Christians, not what we do. He works in us to "will and to do of His good pleasure."
So before you start to stir the water of your life, make absolute certain the grits are in the pot, or else you are just wasting time and energy and there will be no wonderful meal to set on the table.