For more than two years a friend of mine was perplexed
because he kept finding water in the middle of his basement floor. It seemed
logical to him that it was coming from equipment in his basement, so he did
everything he could to fix the problem – looking for leaks, checking every
valve and drain. Still, every few days, he’d find the same puddle of water on
Finally my friend called the city engineer, who agreed to
come and check things out. After looking around for just a few minutes he
asked, “What’s that hose?” pointing to a gap between the furnace and the water
heater. It was the discharge valve for the water softener. The overflow tube
was in the drain, but the discharge hose was not. Every time the softener
cycled, a stream of water ended up in the middle of the basement floor. My
friend felt foolish that the solution was so simple, yet he was relieved at the
Now, how often do we make things more difficult than they
really are? Take the idea of being saved, for example. Many people believe that
in order to be saved one needs to say the right prayer, study or memorize the
correct scriptures, go to a good church faithfully and serve others regularly.
While these are good things to do, they don’t earn us salvation.
When Paul and Silas were miraculously released from their
prison chains, their prison guard realized that what had happened was an act of
God. In Acts 16:30 he asked: “Sirs,
what must I do to be saved?” Their response? “Believe in the Lord Jesus.”
In other words, believe in what Jesus has already done for
you. He has already saved you; he has already made you right with God. The
reality of who Jesus is and what he has done calls for a response of trust,
adoration, obedience and love for others.
Prayer, Bible study and church attendance are all
wonderfully appropriate behaviors to have and pursue. But we receive the gift
of our salvation by our belief, our faith, our trust in Jesus himself – for he
himself is our salvation. It’s as profound and as simple a truth as that.