As I sit in my house, in isolation due to something that I didn’t create didn’t make happen I wonder why there is a sadness. Yesterday, Sunday it hit me. I am not the only one who feels this. The reason for this sadness, the emptiness, the lacking is Spiritual Starvation. Which is worse than being physically starving.
When we physically are starving it takes roughly 30 days for the body to start shutting down, for the organs to refuse to work because they have no fuel. For most of us it has been a bit longer for the Spiritual starvation to begins it work of spiritual destruction. For me it has been seven weeks since we met as a body. Think about that seven weeks without the Spiritual uplifting, edification and love that we as a body require. Seven weeks since we all came together as family.
While some will say, “Well, there are online services, watch them.” I agree there are online services and I do watch them, but it is not the same thing. It is not being together. It is like having a broken limb, the rest of the body does not function properly. We are told to meet with each other for a reason. One of the reasons is that we are a body collectively. That body cannot function unless the body is together. Pretty soon, the different parts of the body will strike out on its own. We all know how well that works out. It doesn’t.
I am sad, that we as a Spiritual family have forgotten how important being with one another is. How much strength is gained by being in the presence of each other. I think about the disciples and how strong they were when Jesus was around. And when he left, there was a piece missing from the body.
Will we ever meet again as a body? Who knows? If we do what will we have lost never to be regained? How many will have fallen into the crevice of life never to return? How many will be unwilling to meet again? These are all valid questions in the environment we find ourselves. How many will continue to live in the fear of “the disease” because we have become conditioned to become an island? How many will become comfortable sitting at home and watching streaming sermons, because they still live in fear?
I cannot answer these questions. Each of you will have to search your hearts. Each of you will have to understand if you are spiritually starved for the company of each other for uplifting, edification and strength. I know what my answers are. And I know that I am very sad. I miss my spiritual family. I miss my sisters; I miss the love we show each other every time we meet. I miss the rest of my body.
As usual I find things that inspire me to write. I read something that really resonated with me. It was the story of a man who was hired to paint a boat. While painting the boat he found a small hole. Quietly he fixed the hole and went about his job of painting. He did not tell the customer he had repaired the hole; he just received the amount he was given for the paint job. The next day the customer came to the man with a bigger check. The man said that he did not ask for that much for painting the boat. However, the customer told him that his children had taken the boat out to fish while he was not at home. When he returned and saw the boat gone, he became worried because the children did not know the boat had a hole in it. When he saw the children returning to shore safely, he looked for the leak and found it had been repaired. The customer told the man that he did not have enough money to repay him for fixing the leak. He told the man that because he had fixed the leak his children were safe.
How many times do we quietly fix the leak in the boat of life of others? How many times are we willing to patch their hurts, their doubts, their flaws without payment?
When we fix others leaks, we receive blessings beyond measure, we may even save a life. Even when we are at our lowest, reach out and fix someone else’s leak, it will make you feel better and it might even save your life.
As all of you know I go places that most people don’t. I told them at Bible Study when we were asked what was our purpose, that I was their conscience. There was an audible and collective gasp in the room and then total silence for about five seconds. Now those of you who have ever had to give a speech or have been interviewed know that second can and do seem like minutes. So with that being said, here goes today’s food for thought. America was built on Christian values. The very core of our existence is on Christian Values. Sure there have been many who have tried to squash those values because they either didn’t understand, didn’t want to understand or refused to understand there is a greater Creator. We were not just zapped into being. Madeline O’Hare comes to mind. For those of you too young to remember go look her up. There are others, but I will let that dog lie for the moment. On every side, Christians since the beginning of the Lord’s Church have been persecuted, maligned, put down and even at times killed. ( See the Middle East). And yet when tragedy strikes people come out in droves with their hidden faith. Take 9/11. Now, we are in yet another event. That being so different, that churches have chosen to not assembly (well with the exception of a few). in order to keep their faithful safe. I respect that, I understand it.But, I have an observation. It is this, throughout the Bible, God’s people have been tested. As they were tested their faith grew stronger, Remember the furnace of fire, the Lion’s Den just to name a few. We are now in that arena. We are being tested. It is so easy to say we have faith when the ship is sitting on a calm sea. It is to easy to say that we trust in our Creator when the sun is shinning and the sea is like glass. It is so easy to say we have faith when the Captain is steering the sea and not sleeping. However….. When there are storms and the ship is broken apart and we are set adrift each to his own devices, my question is this how much faith do we have? Do we really believe that our Captain will carry us to safety and if we do, once on that dry shore do we continue to have a strong faith or do we say, “Thanks” and move on in our life without putting our ship back together in order to go out and fish again. Attending worship is like that ship that is now broken apart. We no longer go to a place to worship, we watch it on live Facebook. How comfortable will we be when the doors are opened again? Will we make the effort to get dressed to get in our cars and make that drive to meet with those of like minds? Or will we say, I can watch it here, I will go next week. See where I am going with this. See how soon we forget that we have strength in numbers. That we need that physical closeness with each other in order to grow. I have thought about this often, thought about how much I miss gathering with like minds. How much I starve for that. I cannot wait to be with them. To sing with them, to read scripture with them to study with them. We are like sheep that have been scattered. Separately we are vulnerable to the wolves. I guess what I am asking is that each of you examine yourself and ask yourself, what will I do when the doors are once again opened. Yes, it is just a building, but it is a place where we come together in strength. #faith, #God,#prayer, #strengthinnumbers
1 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2 a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.
9 What do workers gain from their toil?
10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race.
11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live.
13 That each of them may eat and drink and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God.
For those of you who do not know this is the third chapter of Ecclesiates 3:1-13
This chapter says it all – There is a time for everything a season for every activity under the heavens. That includes being born, dying, planting and uprooting. A time to kill, to heal to tear down and to build. A time to weep a time to laugh – to mourn and to dance, and the list goes on.
This chapter has so much meaning if one just stops and thinks about it.
With the toxic environment we are now living in, the chapter more than ever rings true. Fear will kill a person much quicker than any disease; it causes the blood pressure to rise, the heart to beat out of control, the lungs to run in overdrive and the mind to explode with “What if’s”.
We as humans are our own worst enemy. We panic when we listen to the Media and Politicians, because we believe that what they say is gospel, and yet we refuse to believe what we are told in the Bible. The only non-lying source around. We put our faith in the human condition instead of the Almighty God in heaven.
We foolishly believe that man is in control and we refuse to believe that God is all knowing. We rely on our own devices instead of putting our faith to work when we are tested. We are great at talking the talk and slack at walking the walk. We allow fear and the unknown to dictate our lives instead of our faith in God. We talk about God’s will and how he answers prayers, then turn around and panic when we are hit with trials from the Devil. We spout how great our faith is and then put it on a shelf when the Devil gives us more than we think we can handle.
At a time in life when we as God’s children should be banding together, praying, singing and standing strong, we are hiding behind the doors of our fear. Yes, God gave us common sense, but he also told us to have faith – even when it is tested. Job lost everything, but never once did he lose his faith. Ester was asked to Approach the King on behalf of her people, that meant death if he did not acknowledge her, never once did she lose her faith. Joseph was sold by his brothers, yet never once did he lose his faith. Abraham was told to sacrifice his son and when his sone asked where the sacrifice was, Abraham said God will provide. Never once did he lose his faith.
We are at a crossroad in our faith. Do we allow this panic to shake our faith, or do we stand strong and allow God to show his power? Do we believe the hype, or do we turn to the one who has all the answers?
I can only answer for myself; it is up to each of you to answer for yourself in your heart. Do you just talk the talk, or do you have the courage to walk the walk? I can only answer for myself; you have to answer for yourself.
I have the faith in God that he has the long-range plan, that he knows all and that nothing is going to happen or not happen that is not in that plan. That includes a time to be born, a time to die. I challenge each of you to examine your lives to think about these things and to ask yourself the hard questions. Is your faith something you put on like a coat on Sunday or is it something you wear every day? If the answer is a Sunday thing – you might want to re-evaluate your life.
Today this came across my newsfeed, “The Butterfly does not look back at the caterpillar in shame, just as you should not back at your past in shame. Your past was part of your transformation.”
In our daily lives we find we spend way too much time revisiting the past. We feel we have to drag it around like a ball and chain and hold on to it like a bad participating trophy. We use it to beat ourselves up with when we fall on our faces. We make it define who we are instead of who we became and where we are going. Unlike the butterfly who once is released from the cocoon flies away and never looks back. It never thinks about who it was before it was transformed into a butterfly.
Nature gives us so many examples of how to let go of the past and to move on with what we have today. Nature never looks back; it just moves forward. It never thinks about what happened five minutes ago. It doesn’t dwell on those things which it cannot change. It is not defined by its past, even though it has defining moments. Without the transformation from caterpillar to butterfly there would be no future. It would still be just a caterpillar following the same path it started on. The beauty would be lost, the freedom to fly would not happen.
Dare to be a butterfly. Dare to step out and up. Dare to leave the past where it belongs. Dare to fly.
I just read an interesting statement. It went something like this “You are free to choose, but you are not free from the consequences of that choice.” This is something I have said to my children since the day they were old enough to understand the spoken word.
As we think about the things that are currently being discussed within our family, we must prayerfully think about all the possible consequences both intended and unintended. Sometimes when we are in the trenches of a decision, we tend to look past what we think is right or what we believe we should accomplish.
While I am a creative person and think with the right side of my brain, I also tend to think on the logic side due to the OCD factor. I will analyze a problem from all sides in a non-emotional way. The reason is simple with my background, if it walks like a duck, talk like a duck and looks like a duck, it is a duck.
When Jesus was brought before Pilot, the crowd had already been whipped into a frenzy due to emotion and not logic. Yes, it was pre-ordained, however, there was no logic involved, it was all emotion.
In major decisions no matter if it is in personal, business or even spiritual, it must be met with logic and detailed thought processes.
Yes, we are free to choose, but we are not free from the consequences intended or non-intended. I ask that much prayer and study and thought both pro and con go into the process. That all emotion be removed, and that logic is used to reach a decision that is scriptural, beneficial and meets the needs of all involved. This is not about one person, one opinion or even one act. This decision will affect this family for years to come.
“I was at the grocery store this morning and heard a loud crash and something shattering. Being nosy, I walked towards the sound and saw some people whispering and looking back to the end of the next aisle. When I walked down that aisle, I saw an older lady had hit a shelf containing dishes with her cart and many had fallen to the ground and broke. She was kneeling on the floor embarrassed, frantically picking up the shattered pieces, while her husband was peeling off the bar code from each broken dish saying, “Now we will have to pay for all this!”
I felt so bad for her, and everyone was just standing there staring at her!! I went and knelt beside her and told her not to worry and started helping her pick up the broken pieces. After about a minute, the store manager came and knelt beside us and said, “Leave it, we will clean this up. Let’s get your information so you can go to the hospital and have that cut on your hand looked at.”
The lady, totally embarrassed said, “I need to pay for all this first.” The manager smiled, helped her to her feet and said, “No ma’am, we have insurance for this, you do not have to pay anything!”
I have read this story many times and it never fails to send its message to me.
We are all broken. And yet, we pay no price for our repairs. That price has already been paid. We just have to accept the check and take the action of putting it in the bank. We will never be able to repay the bill. However, we can invest in the account. No matter our age, educational level, or experience or lack thereof, we can and must invest in the account, because we are no longer broken.