I watched my friend eat pecan nuts the other day. She bit them open, easily shedding the hard shell to get to the yummy stuff inside. Stuck at work the next day, I found some in my bag. Without me knowing, she’d shared her loot with me. I was delighted. Hungry and delighted. I followed her example and crunched one between my molars. There’s obviously a knack I don’t have as they crumbled, smooshing together shell and nut.
I was determined to get those nuts into my belly. Picking out all the bits of shell I could see, I tossed the rest into my mouth and bit down hard. My teeth connected with bits of solid shell and it was all I could do not to spit it all out. I tried. I really tried to pick out the remaining bits of shell so I could enjoy the good stuff, but it was virtually impossible.
And then I realized that that is what trying to live by a mixture of Law and Grace is like. The bits of Law, however small, render the goodness of Grace impossible to savour.
In a way you could say that Jesus took care of the shell, leaving us to enjoy the nut.
No shell for me, I just want the nut.
Romans 7 verse 6