Most of us wear the same clothes very often, even though we fill our closets with many more choices. Similarly, we seem to have favorite words and phrases.
Just off the top of my head, I can come up with two of my husband Norm’s words used in repetition, ‘stuff’ and ‘potential.’ The first annoys me; the latter challenges me.
He sees the potential while I see the problem.
Abraham, when pressured with problems, saw potential in impossibilities!
“He believed in God, who gives life to the dead and calls things into existence that do not exist. Against hope, with hope he believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what had been spoken: So will your descendants be (Romans 4:17b-18 HCS).”
It is not logical.
How could such a minute speck of dust or an eyelash under my eyelid be so painful? A splinter in my hand, so small that I need a magnifying glass to see it, can cause throbbing pain.
The unwelcome guests cause irritation; the probing to find and remove them goes beyond irritation to pain.
My removal process is in itself painstaking. If my eye is the problem area, I have to stand extremely close before a lit up mirror. Old age is robbing me of close-up vision. Once I find the culprit, I use a cotton swab in the delicate removal process. If the intruder is a splinter in my right hand, I have a major dilemma.
Being right handed, the wielding of a sterilized needle in my left hand for probing and extraction is haphazard. My sin is not easy to detect with the naked eye; the Holy Spirit shines His light on it, using conviction and the sword of the Spirit as instruments, He brings the transgression to the surface.
“For the word of God is living and effective and sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating as far as to divide soul, spirit, joints, and marrow; it is judge of the ideas and thoughts of the heart. No creature is hidden from Him but all things are naked and exposed to the eyes of Him to whom we must give an account (Hebrews 4:12-13 HCS).”
Ever been blindsided on a bind date?
In my teen years, I had many dates that fell under the blind date category. Two or three of the boys I paired off with were what in my day were popularly labeled losers.
On the brighter side, I am in the blessed state of wedlock with my last blind date. We will celebrate our 50th Wedding Anniversary in three years.
Saul, in his blind date trauma trusted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, becoming the Apostle Paul. (Acts 9:1-18)
A bright heavenly light blinded his eyes. God sent a reluctant messenger to restore his sight. (Acts 9:10-18)
“Immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he received his sight at once; and he arose and was baptized (Acts 9:18 NKJ).”
The jury is still out on the health benefits of vitamin and mineral supplements.
Some tout their effectiveness while others say they do little to improve our over-all health.
Personally, I can tell a big difference when I take certain vitamins. Married to a ‘vegetarian,’ I have occasionally suffered with anemia. When I’ve ‘added’ iron supplements to my diet, I’ve had increased energy.
Spiritually, I benefit from specific character traits and virtues.
“But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge, self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love (2 Peter 1:5-7 NKJ). Some ‘pop vitamins.’
I prefer the pursuit of virtues.
“For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:8 NKJ).”
“It’s raining, it’s pouring”….
The children’s nursery rhyme has a catchy tune!
Residents of South Texas were singing songs of woe when experiencing a severe drought. It could mean devastation to crops and loss of life in livestock herds. We watched weather broadcasts, searched the horizon and prayed for rain.
Elijah prayed; the LORD God sent rain pouring down upon parched land.
“He bowed down to the ground and put his face between his knees. Then he said to his servant, ‘Go up and look toward the sea.’ So he went up, looked, and said, ‘There’s nothing.’ Seven times Elijah said, ‘Go back.’ On the seventh time, he reported, ‘There’s a cloud as small as a man’s hand coming from the sea.’ Then Elijah said, ‘Go and tell Ahab, Get [your chariot] ready and go down so the rain doesn’t stop you.’ In a little while, the sky grew dark with clouds and wind, and there was a downpour (1 Kings 18:42b-45a HCS).”
God also heard the prayer requests of Texans. It rained and we rejoiced!
Factual knowledge is not always exciting; yet, I have remembered a few facts from my school days. ‘The shortest distance between two points is a straight line.’ It’s not very exciting but it is logical. Oops! Is that a Mr. Spock flash back? Back to the elementary school straight-line, rule…
Teachers always instructed us to line up in a straight line at the door, before going to lunch, the library, to the gym, or for recess. So, does that verify that the shortest distance between the classroom and any designated destination was a straight line? Apparently, they thought so.
In addition, the straight-line approach worked well in moving twenty-five squirming children in an orderly fashion. I’m looking forward to the day when I move from point a (earth) to point b (heaven). If it requires a straight line, I’m already trained!
“And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words (1 Thessalonians 4:16b-18 NKJ).”
How old is too old, too set in our ways? Advancing in years does seem a detriment to seeking radical change. Yet, we can start anew at any age. Let me introduce a man I refer to only as ‘Sam.’ When we first met, he was, I would guess in his mid sixties and retired from the military. He had not retired from life.
Sam busied himself with farming, a well-stocked fishpond, and a woodworking shop. His wife would be retiring soon and they decided to begin a small business in preparation. He opened a gift shop, where in addition to mail order items; he would offer his wife’s ceramics. Already friends, he hired me to serve as clerk (and coffee maker). It was in a small town strip mall.
The manager of the shops was the wife of a local pastor. Conversation came easy for Sam. Conversion had not. His wife was a dedicated Christian and had prayed for his salvation for many years. My husband and I were concerned about him; the always-cheerful strip mall manager was as well. Much to our surprise, Sam made a ‘John Deere’ decision.
The Lord had been tugging at his heart. One day, when working atop his tractor he detoured from the field to a highway and drove to town to talk with the husband-pastor of the manager we had both come to love. Sam got right with his maker and made Jesus his Savior and Lord. We witnessed his water baptism and his change of heart.
Sam, along with his wife, now abides forever with the Lord in heaven. His ‘John Deere’ detour and decision proved he was not too old for transformation. [Romans 10:9-13]