Skip to main content

Fade Reluctantly

The last few days I have been re-reading The Fellowship of the Ring. If you are familiar with the story you know that a hobbit by the name of Frodo Baggins has come into the Ring of Power and it is his responsibility to take the Ring to Rivendell, to the home of Elves, so the Ring’s fate could be decided. On that journey, poor Frodo, is stabbed with Morgul-knife which, if it is able to pierce the heart, able to turn a person into a wraith.

Fortunately for Frodo, he is pierced in the shoulder, and is able to hold out until he reaches Rivendell and help. A splinter of the knife is removed from the wound, before it was able to reach Frodo’s heart. This is what Gandalf the wizard says to the hobbit; “Don’t be alarmed! It is gone now. It has been melted. And it seems Hobbits fade very reluctantly. I have known strong warriors of the Big People who would quickly have been overcome by that splinter, which you bore for seventeen days.” (The Fellowship of the Ring, p. 248)

Why was Frodo able to hold out, when bigger and stronger people would have been overcome? I think that answer lies in the Shire, the home of the hobbits. The Shire is a good place and the hobbits are good people. Evil was not part of their existence. It also explains why the Ring had such little effect on Bilbo Baggins when he possessed it, and why Frodo was able to resist its evil so long as well. The goodness of their home acted as a shield against the assault of evil from the Enemy.

So what does this have to do with you and me? Remember, we too have an Enemy out to destroy us. We have all felt his assault of evil in our lives: divorce, tragedy, job loss, betrayal, and sickness are just a few weapons he uses to attack our hearts, to make us like he is: a God-hater.

What will get us through those tough times? The Church. It is the goodness and love we experience from other Christians that is able to give us the courage and the hope to hold out, no matter what evil may come our way.

If that is true there are two important things that we need to do. First, we need to be committed to a group of Christ-followers. We cannot benefit from the love, encouragement, and help of other Christians if we do not make the time to fellowship with them. Second, we need to do our part to love, encourage, and help other people when they are experiencing difficult times. It is the choice of individual Christ-followers to love and be good that make the Church a place of healing and hope. We have to make that choice to make sure it remains so.

When we are protected by the good of the Church, we will fade reluctantly when evil comes our way. Let us be committed to the Church, and being agents of good in this world.

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. ~ Hebrews 10:23-25; ESV


Bill said…
Great to see a somewhat familiar face in the blogging world still at it! I've been out of the scene for 2 years now...feels like an eternity.

In any event - a great thought...I'll have to continue to read on and see what else you've been up to.
Paul said…
Bill, Nice to have you back. When I saw a Bill had commented on my blog I thought, "I remember a Bill..." and it was you. You have not been forgotten.

Popular posts from this blog

Prayer: Married Bedtime Prayer

My wife Jenny and I have been using the Bedtime Prayer that John Eldredge wrote for Walking with God as part of our bedtime routine.  As much as I have enjoyed the prayer I thought it was time for a prayer that was better suited to pray together.  Hopefully this will encourage you to implement prayer into your bedtime routine.

Our Father in Heaven, we pause at the end of this day to say thank You.  We give You thanks for the blessing of life, for the blessing of each other, for the blessing of family, and for the blessing of a home. You have richly blessed our lives. Restore us Father to Your Son Jesus.  He is the vine and we are the branches and He has become our source of life.  Open our hearts to receive the Holy Spirit's guidance, healing, and transformation.  May our lives and our marriage bear the fruit of the Spirit.  We surrender our lives and our marriage to You.  You have our bodies, possessions, and spirits; we give You our hearts, souls, minds, and strength.  We belon…

God Uses Unlikely People

One of the things that strike me about God is that the value society has given to people makes no difference to Him. In fact it seems that God would rather use the common, even the despised, people of the world to make a difference in this world. Consider Moses. God doesn’t use Moses when he is a prince of Egypt, but when he is a nomadic shepherd. Certainly God has used the rich and the powerful, but more often than not God has used the poor, sinful, and abused. God uses the unlikeliest people.

This reality comes our loud and clear at Christmas time. Think about the major characters of the Christmas story: Joseph who is a poor and scandalize carpenter, Mary who is a young and scandalized girl, Shepherds who are a bunch of untrustworthy characters. Only the Magi have credibility in society, but this diminishes in Jewish culture since these men were Gentiles. The most important event in the history of the world and God chooses people who are rejected and wouldn’t be believed by so…

Worship is a Lifestyle

"It's a lot easier to sing a song than it is to stop and touch the broken. It's a lot less taxing to go to church than to take 'church' to the world. But sharing with others is a sacrifice of worship that makes God smile." ~ Louie Giglio; The Air I Breathe

Worship isn't just about music. Worship isn't just an activity that is planned and programmed. Worship is about glorifying God with our lives. When we seek to honor God, we worship Him.

Worship happens anytime and anyplace. It happens Sunday mornings at church. It happens Wednesday night at Bible Study. It happens when we chat with our neighbor. It happens when we serve those in need. It happens when we show love to the lonely. Worship is what being a Christian is all about.

Worship is a life lived in response to God's gracious blessings. God has given us so much. We owe Him every breath we breathe. He is responsible for our talents we use. God has given us blessing after blessing. Only a life o…