You Become Numb To It

This past weekend Kristi and I went to the Upstate to see our families and go to her brother’s high school graduation. When we visit, we always stay with my Mema because she has plenty of extra room (and because she’s awesome). Staying there has become one of our favorite places in the world–from sitting around the table catching up with her to peacefully quiet nights in her house to Saturday morning trips to Yank’s for breakfast.

And let me tell you, it’s beautiful. Decades ago my Grandaddy bought 45 or so acres of rolling green hills and built their brick ranch on top of the hill. Generations have grown up traipsing around the green pastures and barns, learning to climb over the fence that keeps the cows and horses in, taking trips to the creek to hunt for crawdads and picking tomatoes out of the garden.

This is where I grew up, and it was a blessed growing up–that’s for sure.

But the thing is, when we go back to visit now, something is different.

Or rather, nothing is actually different, but my eyes somehow are. They are not as used to seeing the same landscape that they used to see every day. And every time now–every time we pull up or I walk around the house to a different view, or when the sun starts setting over the trees–I am absolutely struck by how gorgeous it is.

These pictures I took last weekend don’t do it justice, but it at least gives a hint:



And when I say struck, I mean that literally. I stand there, stunned for moments at a time, and can do nothing other than stare. I have this urge to look at my family, who still live there, and say “You guys don’t realize how beautiful this is, do you?”

Because I know from experience: you become numb to it.

And I hate this about us. That with familiarity, the most breathtaking vistas, the most wished-for freedoms in the world, the most staggering truths of the universe–they can become trite and commonplace in our eyes.

Then last Sunday I heard a fantastic sermon about how in the South so many people are inoculated to the gospel of Jesus. They’re familiar with it in some arm’s length sense, and just like a real inoculation–they’ve been given just enough of the flu to build a familiar resistance to it and never actually get the real flu. The earth-shattering realities of God taking on human flesh and dying in our place to free us from our self-righteous rebellion become familiar, tired sayings to which people yawn “heard that before.”

This is of course the tragic reality of familiarity.

To these people–the numb ones–I pray that by the grace of God, the Holy Spirit would come along and do what He does–point people to the immeasurable beauty of Jesus. That He would convict and reveal and by any means possible wipe the proverbial scales from their eyes and say, “See? See the real thing?”

By God’s grace, I am so happy to say that this is happening here in my city, Columbia. It’s happening through many ways, but one I see most often is through the church actually being a gospel-centered family together. Through people standing up and saying, “I am a busted, jacked up sinner, and I’m seeing more and more how the gospel is the cure for everything–my rebellion, my restlessness, my pain and my hardness of heart.” Seeing people come alive to the gospel and it’s all-encompassing implications literally never gets old.

I heard a story just the other day that a new Christian in one of our LifeGroups texted a friend of mine one morning, and it simply said:

Dude…God became man and died for my sin. Wow.

Wow indeed. I forget and take that for granted far, far too often.

Fellow believers, I hope that we will not grow numb to the gospel. I pray that it will become fresh again to us every day as we grow deeper in it and become more amazed by the work of Jesus and how it speaks to every facet of our lives.

We will never reach the bottom of it, so let’s continue to swim and be struck by it’s beauty.

4 thoughts on “You Become Numb To It”

  1. Well written. It is sad how the things we once found amazing become ordinary. It’s a definite challenge to find the beauty in the mundane when we are in it every day.

  2. Brandon, thank you for sharing. I know that I’ve taken what Christ did for me for granted. At times it hits me, there are times when I grasp a glimpse of what He did for me, but all too often I take it for granted; or worse, don’t even think about it. I was struck by a thought the other night, something posted by a friend. To paraphrase, it said something the lines of, “1,000,000 years from now when you’re in heaven, will you regret not reaching out more to save the lost?” Wow. When I put things in that kind of perspective it gives me an idea of how important this controversy between good and evil really is. 

    Anyway, keep up the good work! Thanks 🙂

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