Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Two observations from being sick

The past three days have been a blur of curling up on anything stationary and simple tasks, as my daughter shared her cold with me and I, being an overachiever, took it to the next level...

A few things, however; did penetrate the fog

1. One should NEVER shop for cold medicine while sick - expectorant? decongestant? cough and cold? cold and flu? daytime? nighttime? extended release? capsules? brand name? generic? Tylenol? Aspirin? Augh....! There is no sight more pathetic than a glassy-eyed sick person in the medicine aisle.

2. Being sick seriously alters your perspective.  It was a beautiful fall weekend - like jeans and sweatshirts, every tree doing it's best to outshine the others- kind of perfect.  I saw these people enjoying the day, walking their dogs, raking leaves, cutting grass, standing around laughing and I, although watching it, couldn't comprehend it.  I felt so lousy it was hard to believe that people could have that much energy.  My being sacked by a cold bug didn't mean the rest of the world stopped spinning but it did take me out of the loop.

Depression has that same effect.  It saps you of all energy, fogs your mind, and although you see others living life fully you can't imagine having the same level of participation.  There's no energy for all that activity; it simply takes all you've got to stagger from event to event.

The beauty is that no matter how we feel the promises of God do not change.
The truth of His constant presence remains - Hebrews 13:5 "For God has said, 'I will never fail you.  I will never abandon you."

His care for us does not waver - Psalm 36:7 "How precious is your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings"

He still guides us- Psalm 48:14 "For that is what our God is like.  He is our God forever and ever, and He will guide us until we die."

Watches over us- Psalms 33:8 "The Lord watches over those who fear Him, who rely on His unfailing love."
-
And is full of compassion towards us- Psalms 103:13,14 "The Lord is like a father to His children, tender and compassionate to those who fear Him.  For He knows how weak we are; He remembers we are only dust."
.
      
 
God is faithful; and that, no matter how I feel, is something to hang onto.

Friday, October 11, 2013

FEED ME!


Just. so. hungry!
 
You’ve been there too haven’t you; when you feel your stomach is ready to devour itself just to be satisfied? When every other thing becomes less important as this gnawing hunger hijacks all other focus but itself.
 
It is one thing to have a taste for something but entirely different to be consumed by need.
It’s the difference between resisting the dessert cart when you’ve just finished a satisfying meal and thinking “How quickly can they get food on the table?” after it’s been a long and stress filled day.
 
Jesus was hungry. In Matthew 4:2 we read “After fasting forty days and nights, He (Jesus) was hungry.” These were not the rumblings of a stomach between lunch and dinner; this was a hunger that was so complete His entire body had been weakened by lack of nourishment.  Satan then comes and says “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” (Matthew 4:3)  In other words, “You have the power and the ability, and an opportunity to meet your own needs. Take what you need. Go for it.”
 
We hunger; but for more than food:  we long for love, power, or financial security.
We desire to be recognized, validated, and affirmed.
We hunger for wealth, ease, and significance.
 
These are our appetites and the hunger of our hearts and where we are starving Satan comes and says “You deserve it. You can take it.  Do whatever you can to meet your own needs; to make your own bread.”
 
Cheat.
Flirt.
Discredit another.
Gossip.
Push your way to the top.
Give in to anger and jealousy and self-aggrandizement.
Find the crumbs to feed your soul.
Do whatever it takes.
 
 But the Bible says “My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4 :19
 
The Greek word here for supply - pleroo – means:        
to make full, to fill up, i.e. to fill to the full
to cause to abound, to furnish or supply liberally
to render full, i.e. to complete
to fill to the top: so that nothing shall be wanting to full measure, fill to the brim
to make complete in every particular
 
He is the bread that satisfies, fully satisfies: in John 6:35 Jesus says “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry again.”
 
In Him we find peace when financial concerns would consume us in worry.
In Him we find love when an empty marriage has us ravenous for affirmation.
In Him we find significance that a title, position, or paycheck can never equal.
“Those who look to Him for help will be radiant with joy!” Psalms 34:5
 
Jesus knew this.  He knew that God would provide for His needs and that it was not up to Him to do whatever it took to take care of himself. 
 
The story concludes “Then the devil went away and angels came and cared for Him.” (Matthew 4:11)
 
Which will it be: the scrapings of your own attempts to quell your hunger or plerro that comes from loving care of your eternal and almighty Father? 

Who will feed you?