In Christ alone my hope is found

By Dave Henning / September 18, 2023

Max and Lu’s Drive-In, once located at 8715 S. Kedzie in Evergreen Park, IL. MacDonald’s now stands on the site. Photo courtesy of We Grew Up in E. P.

“In Christ alone my hope is found / He is my light, my strength, my song. / This cornerstone, this solid ground / Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.”- In Christ Alone, v. 1

“O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.”- Psalm 63:1 (ESV)

Max and Lu’s Drive-In opened in 1962 and satisfied the appetites of locals with their tasty burgers, fries, and chocolate shakes for the next 25 years.  Above all, the Ma & Pa business was open seven days a week and only closed three days during the year.  Furthermore, Max and Lu put their heart and soul into the business, working 100 hours per week.

Regulars report that Max cooked with a cigar in his mouth.  And Lu usually showed up with curlers in her hair.  Often crabby, Lu didn’t much care for kids coming around.  But Max and Lu served great comfort food.  A great reward after the grind of final exams at Luther South – less than a block away.

Certainly, Max and Lu’s idiosyncratic charm inspired a dedicated and loyal following. The zeal they put into their drive-in stayed the course against the onslaught of franchised burger chains.  Writing in his latest book, Don’t Hold Back, David Platt asserts that in current American church culture, we rarely come together with zeal just to meet with God.  In addition, Pastor Platt contends, an American gospel fuels desire for all sorts of things.  Instead of the one thing — or, put more appropriately the One — we most need.  In Christ alone!

Because, as evidenced in the Bible from cover to cover, the Gospel proclaims God himself as the greatest gift, the ultimate goal, and the cherished prize.  Most significantly, in Psalm 63:1 the word seek is beautifully poetic.  Related to the Hebrew word for “dawn”, the word seek creates a picture of one thirsting for God in the desert, desperate for water.  From the moment one rises in the morning.

However, Pastor Platt cautions, we often seem content to make God a convenient addition to our lives — along with many other things we desire.  Rather than seeking God with zeal in our Christian walk — the One we want.  Of course, the author acknowledges, it’s biblically right to love the many gifts God gives us (see 1 Timothy 6:17).  But, he adds, we must take care not to receive those gifts in such a way that we end up loving them more than we love God.

Therefore, Pastor Platt takes this thought a step further:

“It’s dangerously possible for every one of us to love [God’s good gifts] . . . and to even sincerely thank God for those things — but not to actually love God. . . .  to gratefully enjoy all kinds of good things and even thank God for them, but when it comes down to it, our hearts aren’t really for the Giver.  Our hearts are for the gift.” (emphasis author’s)

In conclusion, as we read in Psalm 63:1, King David knew that he needed Someone — more than he needed something.  Thus, in David’s remarkable response in the wilderness of Judah, he expressed a longing for God himself.  So, Pastor Platt exhorts, we don’t need to try harder.  Rather, we need a new heart and the grace of God.  In Christ alone, we seek Him as the sole end of our soul’s longings.  For, in all His glory, power, and steadfast love, Christ totally surpasses every good gift in the world — combined.

About the author

Dave Henning


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