Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Being Still in the Wake of Madness

Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10

Deep silence and calm. Is that what you imagine or feel when you read that verse? A sense of peace enveloping your soul?

We live in a world full of sin. Eve tasted the forbidden fruit. Adam was right there going along with it. They sinned and ever since then the world has been in upheaval. Sexual sin, wars, gossip, slander, a whole host of sins related to greed, and disease.

Right now, panic seems to arise at the mention of Ebola. In my own little corner of the world it seems as though it would never effect me or the ones I love. Whether that bubble of denial pops either sooner or later, people around the world are suffering--those who have it and those who love them.

Today, at work, I was talking with someone many states away. He commented on all the diseases "foreigners" are bringing across the borders. I didn't say much as it is not my job to agree or disagree with customers.

But it got me thinking. If deadly diseases were in my back yard, would I be at peace and be still or would fear take over at the thought of losing someone I love?

And, the persecuted Christians around the world? Oh my. That one hits close to home when someone has a missionary in their family. In my corner of this big scary world, I cannot begin to imagine being told I can't gather with others to praise God. Or the fear of dying because I won't renounce God.

There are so many diseases in this world; disease of illness and the disease of sin. No matter how many vaccines smart people come out with, no one will ever be immune to sin. "For we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." 

There is a glorious hope. Jesus. Our Savior and Comforter. He went to that cross even when he was praying to his Father to "take this cup". He died for us. Let that soak in. All that pain, suffering and anguish, each slice of that whip was for each of our sins. Thank you, Jesus!

Psalm 91:1-2, “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’”

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

I want....A Buzz Saw Louie. Waaaahh.

Our children grew up watching Veggie Tales. Lots of Veggie Tales. And, sometimes in my mom-mind, I speak Veggie Tales. Hence the title.

In one particular video (didn't have DVDs back then), a veggie-child whines, "Jimmy has a Buzz Saw Louie. I want a Buzz Saw Louie!" and proceeds to cry/whine "Waaahhh" while bouncing outside. Surprise, surprise. That one little veggie-child produces discord when all the kids in the neighborhood  start whining for a Buzz Saw Louie.

Comparison, jealousy, envy, selfishness and discontentment can have us all bouncing around crying, "It's not fair. I want what she has. Why can't my life be as easy as hers. Waaaaah!" In fact, while we are having our pity party, those who have to hear us more than likely want to cover their ears and cry "Waaaahhhh!" as well.

Yes, I am a believer in venting. It makes me feel better, I'll admit it. But, think about it with me. Look how easy our discontent rubs off on those around us. The sun isn't shining. Waaahh. I'm having a bad hair day and feel the need to tell everyone around me. Waaaahh. I'm offended by what so-n-so said to me...can you believe it?! Waaaahhh. She is doing what I want to do but am too lazy to do it so you shouldn't like her either. Waaaaaahhhhhh!

I want to be happy for people. I really do. And 99.9% of the time I am truly happy when good happens for someone else. But, it is the little, itty, bitty percent that can turn my 'happy for you' into 'why doesn't anything like that happen to me'. Then I become and two year old and have a poor pitiful me party.

You know what? That isn't love. That isn't the kind of love Jesus showed us. He showed us love. Unconditional love.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 

Just remember:  Truth without love is harsh, love without truth is compromise. Jesus walked in truth AND love.