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Tuesday Thoughts 5-9-17

Isn’t it a joy to start our days several mornings in a row with a shining sun and cloudless sky?  Never mind that there is frost on the windshield and I need a coat…still.  It isn’t snowing!  It isn’t dreary and raining.  It just seems to help us feel that everything is better.  But for nearly all of us (or maybe every one of us), there lurks just behind those exhilarating thoughts something else.  It is the knowledge of that tense work situation, the wayward child, the financial crunch, the test results, the deep betrayal (insert your own thing).  We can get so quickly deflated.  We are overtaken by our desire to make a difference.  Prayers have assaulted the throne of God, steps have been taken, everything we can think of, yet the trouble looks unchanged (and maybe looks unchangeable).  So we go from empowered to empty.  In the fifth chapter of the Old Testament book of First Samuel we catch the followers of God at this same kind of low point.  Not only had they lost a battle with their long-time enemies, the Philistines, but the ark of God was captured.  The ark (which means ‘container’) had a treasure inside; the Ten Commandments written in stone.  The cover of the ark had two angelic beings on it whose wings met together in the center.  The surface of those joined wings was called “The Mercy Seat”.  It was the place God would come and talk to Moses (and teach about His mercy).  It was the spiritual center of God’s people, and it was now in the hands of the enemy.  Can you sense their anguish and sense of failure and uselessness?  It has a familiar feel doesn’t it?  But look what happens when this container of the Holy God is placed in a temple containing a little statue of a man-made god named Dagon: “When the people of Ashdod rose early the next day, there was Dagon, fallen on his face on the ground before the ark of the Lord! They took Dagon and put him back in his place. But the following morning when they rose, there was Dagon, fallen on his face on the ground before the ark of the Lord! His head and hands had been broken off and were lying on the threshold; only his body remained.”  (verses 3-5).   Here in the darkest place, among an ungodly people and in the dwelling of their “god”, the One True God defends Himself!  No conquering army, false belief system or manufactured dwelling place can hold, change or stop the Living God!  So why do I get wrapped up in the effort to do His job? Our calling is to witness, reflect, surrender, and follow, but He will defend Himself!  I needed this today.  I (just like you may do) experienced some high anxiety over the last few days.  It would be a shameful thing to admit except that I’m human so it’s something that just has to be dealt with.  I groaned and pleaded in prayer.  I pressed on in obedience but still felt the grip of worry.  I had been carving a little statue called anxiety.  This morning, my sweet Savior Jesus toppled my little monument by reminding me of the difference between the little things he calls me to do and the grand things He is doing.  I do not have to prove Him to others, make the wrong of this world right, or force things to happen.  I can’t do those things because they are His to do.  I can breathe in the crisp morning air, smile back at the sun, look into the deep blue sky and follow Jesus!  So what is your little man-made statue?  Let Him knock it over!

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