Saturday, May 13, 2017

If I Wrote Something Scholarly

The Lord brought Elijah to mind today. OK, actually it was Elijah's story that came to mind, and I couldn't remember where it was in the Bible (thanks, North Rome Christian School grad for the help). I'm not a Bible scholar, but here's what I see in Elijah's plight. This is a reflection on 1 Kings 19 (read the chapter via the link below).

"Elijah, what on earth are you doing sitting here feeling sorry for yourself?"
"Lord, kill me now. Life as I know it is over, and I'm better off dead."
"You're worn out, come over here and have some dinner, rest and keep on going". (Elijah rests, and then he walks for 40 days and 40 nights, and stops at a cave on Mt. Horeb, the mountain of God)
God comes to visit Elijah, and speaks to him, and again He asks him "Elijah, what are you doing here?"
"I did what you wanted me to do, and now I'm running for my life."
And God said: "Go back the way you came..." (picture the puzzled look on Elijah's face)

I can relate to Elijah in this passage. OK, right now, I'm not running for my life, but many days I'd prefer to run FROM it. I want to feel sorry for myself. Look at me, I'm all alone. I'm useless. My life is over, I can't do this any more. It's too hard. I expect God to say "There, there, now, you go right ahead and curl up in a ball. You're right, life is hard and you deserve to be miserable." Nope. That's not what happened to Elijah. The guy was exhausted, he just walked for over a month. He thought he'd finally found his way "out", and what happened? God said "GO BACK THE WAY YOU CAME". Whaaaaat? I just got here, those people are crazy, they want me dead. "Go back the way you came."

Are you stuck in a cave, or under a bush somewhere today? Get up. Go back. You are not alone. At this very moment, God is preparing things ahead of you, He's sending help. He knows you are but dust, and that life feels hard, but He's already taken care of what's ahead. Stand up, brush off the dirt, put one foot in front of the other. There's an army out there coming against you, but it has no power over you. Remember to Whom you belong.

Friday, April 21, 2017

A Dog's Life

Lessons from the dog: Hammie crates himself when he does something bad. Last night, I saw him grab the closed crate door and pull it open. I figured he was planning ahead. He knew the dinner table was a temptation, and that he'd rather risk the punishment if he could only get to a couple crumbs on the floor. Sin is like that, isn't it? Sometimes it feels like it would all be worth it, that stepping over the line. The trouble is, it isn't. Solitary confinement for the sake of a morsel of food on the floor? The kibbles bowl was full. The water bowl was full. The "good stuff" was right there in front of him, but that tug was more than he could bear. What he didn't know was that I had a reward for him if he stayed out of the kitchen. I would have slipped him a couple of good scraps from the table (I know, don't tell the vet). There was a bigger reward in "not sinning" than in sinning. That's the truth for all of us. Are you feeling it today? Are you feeling that pull toward something you should not do or have? Run. That's right, run. In the opposite direction. It might feel like a good idea right this minute, but in reality the thing you're after just rolled across the dirty floor. It's covered in dust and dog hair. Ew.

1 Corinthians 10:12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! 

13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Branching Out

Things I have learned through DNA, and building family trees:
--your ancestors had to escape disease, war, accidents, and more. Basically, they Indiana Jones-ed life, or you wouldn't be here. Some families had one living survivor, and that survivor had one survivor, and now there is you. You are a miracle. 
 --all those "begats" in the Bible that you skipped over were kinda important. God was showing you His plan is not random, it is laid out for generations and generations. Before your great great grandparents were born, He knew your name. You're that special.
--life is fragile, and that "death date" I just typed in the box? Relative A was cruising through life when it came to an abrupt halt. You only have this moment.
You are a miracle, you're THAT special, and you only have this moment. So, why are you wasting life worrying, or acting like you're not enough? Go be who God made you to be, and quit believing the lie that your life has no purpose. There's a reason you are here. There's a reason you are who you are. You are God's workmanship. Ephesians 2:10 Workmanship (synonyms: creation, design, artwork!)

Thursday, January 26, 2017

A Waiting Season

Sometimes in Winter, it's hard to see the promise of Spring. The gray landscape, the cold wind that makes you want to huddle under a blanket. I look at the garden. Pieces of dead vegetation are tumbled in the mud, and bits of Autumn's harvest cling to the fencing with no hope for tomorrow. It's bleak, and it brings me no joy. I want to walk backward six months to the days when I watched the earth for seedlings, and rejoiced to see the flowers budding out. I want to smell the soil baking under a warm sun. I want, I want, I want...and then I am reminded. I am reminded that although it looks like all is lost, there is a purpose for this season. The seeds that have fallen to the ground need to sit and wait. They need to experience the fury of Winter in order to burst forth in Spring. This is not idle time. Were it not for the frozen ground heaving up and becoming broken, the seeds, could never be planted. They would still lie atop the garden beds when the snow melted away, and they would be eaten by the birds, or rot in the muddy mess. I wonder what the seed thinks as it tumbles down the abyss created by that heaving soil. It probably thinks it is finished. It has no legs to climb it's way back out, no voice to cry for help. Done, I'm done. The days tick by, the seed remains in the cavern. Then, one day, long after the seed has given up all hope, something amazing happens. It burst forth from it's assumed prison, and becomes something beautiful.

 Ecclesiastes 3:1There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven—
      2A time to give birth and a time to die;
            A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.
      3A time to kill and a time to heal;
            A time to tear down and a time to build up.
      4A time to weep and a time to laugh;
            A time to mourn and a time to dance...

Ecclesiastes 3:11 11He has made everything beautiful in its time.