Monday, July 1, 2013

First-Aid Rescue Needed

Ever had a wound that just wouldn't heal?  I remember as a kid, riding double on a bike down a steep hill...wobble, wobble, a jerk of the handle-bars and...CRASH!  The result was a large wound on my elbow which stayed around for quite a while.  If you're a parent, you know how easily it is for a scab to be knocked off requiring the healing process to start all over again.  So went the story of my elbow.

But not only do wounds happen in the natural; there are wounds of the heart that one must deal with if they be real enough to admit it.  Life happens to everyone!  There are many instances of wounded hearts we can read about in the Bible.  I suppose if God didn't care, He wouldn't have had these examples in there for us to read.  We are not alone!  A wound (both physical and internal) can come from a variety of sources or incidents.  Think about the many physical wounds you've had in your lifetime.  They are painful and may take longer than we would like to wait for complete healing.  As if you didn't believe me, here's a verse straight out of the Word to confirm that we will find ourselves here.  The beautiful thing is God will take care of it all. 

"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds."  Ps. 147:3 (NIV)

 It is my experience that when a child has a "boo-boo", dads tend to tell their kids, "Shake it off, it will be alright."  Ever heard that one?  In most cases it's usually the mother who will bandage the wound and seal it with an “All better" kiss.  Have you ever considered how many boxes of Band-Aids you've bought for the little ones in your household?  They come off, things happen, the wound has to be tended to again and again.  There are even times when a covering isn't enough; mom has to get out the Neosporin and sooth the wound before going any further.  Guess where moms ultimately got this characteristic from?  You got it! 

While He is a God of judgment, He is a gentle Healer too.  When we're wounded, He feels our pain.  He is touched and longs to take us in His arms and tend to our wounds.  Even when we're careless and a scab gets knocked off, He patiently pulls out the First-Aid kit, cleans and bandages it up once more.  He knows what it is to be wounded, for He allowed Himself to be put in that position.  He hears our cries of over-whelming pain and is attentive to our call.  He always has time for one of His children who is matter how many times we fall and have to have clean bandages and ointment applied.  

Take heart, and know with a blessed assurance that God has His eye upon you, that He will come running when you fall.  Do not be discouraged when your wounded heart has to be tended to yet again...He is faithful to do it and no one can apply that soothing balm like our Lord.  The enemy would like us to think we're hopeless and that our Heavenly Father will tire of binding up the same wound, but no matter how deep and how long it may take...Jesus is there.  He can heal it instantly; or He may desire a lesson be learned for our growth in Him.  In this case, He will bandage it up and send us on through.  For now, He's saying, "Michael, bring the First-Aid kit!"

Lord, thank you for never looking at me in disgust, for always
being faithful to tend to my hurts, pains and disappointments in life.
Help me to come to you and not run away when I’m in pain and teach
me to realize you sometimes use people in our lives to help you do the mending.
Here I am today, a scraped up mess…hurry Michael…bring the kit!

Friday, June 28, 2013

A Bible Lunch-able

A huge lump formed in his throat as he heard the call go out for anyone who had brought any food to the gathering.  There was whispering and people were starting to turn their eyes his way.  Nobody was speaking up!  Was he the only one who had a lunch today?  It was already well past lunch time and he was really hungry but he had been so intensely listening to the Master teach that time had slipped passed and now it was late afternoon.  He held onto his little bag tightly as he heard the call go out again, “Does anyone have any food?”  Should he run away and hide behind a bush?  Should he give his lunch up?  What would he eat if he did?  He was just a small lad and would probably be last in line and would more than likely get nothing to eat.  What should he do?

All of the sudden, all eyes were upon him and he heard the Master telling his men to bring the boy’s small lunch to him.  His heart sank as he followed the men and tried to get closer to where Jesus was.  What was going to happen?  His mind was full of questions and wonderings.  How could they even begin to imagine two fish and five small loaves could even begin to touch the need of this multitude?  He pushed his way through to where Jesus was and watches as He blessed and began to break his lunch in pieces.  Amazed and perplexed, he watched as Jesus fed the hungry crowd.

Aren’t there all sorts of questions that bombard our mind when we’re in a dilemma?  We know that God can take care of our needs, yet, like this little boy, we wonder how.  For instance, here’s a situation to parallel with this story, “If I give this bag of groceries to a family in need, what will we eat?”   You know, this is a very real question for a parent.  Where will our next meal come from?  Questions, decisions…we tend to have that lump in our throat just like the little lad.
All the time, we’re sitting in the presence of the One who can do the impossible.  Jesus said:

“With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.” (Matt. 19:26)

The Creator of the universe is the same one who fed the 5,000 with a little lunch-able!  Won’t He take care of us too?  He knows our needs, desperate situations, etc.  All He’s waiting on us to do is give it to Him and allow Him to turn it into a miracle.  By giving when you might not have it to give, you might possibly be setting yourself up for a miracle.  Go ahead, step out on faith! Can you imagine the testimony this little guy had to tell for the rest of his life?  Don’t you think he was glad he didn’t hide behind the bush?  God desires to show us how loving, capable and willing He is…what is He calling you to give?  It doesn’t have to be a bag of groceries…He could be calling you to give yourself!  We can choose to question or dive right in and see what He has in store.  One thing we can take to the bank…He will always work it out for GOOD – even if you give Him a lunch-able!

Dear Lord, please help me to remember that you were the first
to use a lunch-able and you did it with style and grandeur…because you can.
Help me to trust you with the little I have, knowing that nothing is impossible
with you.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Time Out for Mommy! (or Daddy)

Are there any parents out there who have MADE their children take a nap?  Or coaches who have placed a player “on the bench”?  Is it because the child or player did something deserving of this delay?  While there are instances when this may be true, it is almost without doubt most of the times this is done for the child or player’s own well-being.  Take, for instance, the star player whose legs are cramping, or the defense player who has taken a hit and is down…they are taken out of the game and MADE to sit on the side lines for their own well-being.  Why do we make our children take a nap other than to get out of our hair? J  A child needs his or her rest in order to function properly.  (Having said that, I remember as a child that Sunday afternoons were designated nap times and I used to hate it…funny how 30+ years later I beg for Sunday afternoon naps.)

Now look with me again at that wonderful 23rd Psalm:
“…he maketh me to lie down in green pastures…” (Ps. 23:2)

There are times when the Lord makes an almighty call for a time out in our lives.  Again, it is not necessarily because we’ve veered off-track somewhere.  It is for our own good though, because of His goodness…we need a break. Instead of us meeting our physical and spiritual needs, sometimes we tend to barrel on through our lives going full steam ahead posing as Super Man or Wonder Woman.  Maybe we become angry and He knows that we just need a minute or two of rest to pull ourselves back together. Sometimes I wonder if God ever feels like catching us in a choke-hold or shaking some sense into us.   We might not be intentionally playing those fictitious roles, but we are trying to do God’s work.

When the Lord sends you a time-out and makes a way for you to “lie down in green pastures”, enjoy the comfort, rest and peace He intends for you to receive during that time.  (Even Jesus grew weary and had to be ministered to.) Ever seen a child leave his bed time and time again, persistent that he doesn’t need a nap?  I’m afraid that’s how we are at times.  The Lord knows what’s best for us, but we think we know better.  The truth is, if we are going to be restored, we must do it God’s way.  Isn’t it the loving parent who continuously insists on sending that child back to his or her bed for that nap until the child finally gives in to Sleepy Land?  And my final question, doesn’t that child feel so much better after they wake up?  (The parents do too!)

If the Lord has you smack dab in the middle of a green pasture right now, lay down and enjoy the cool breeze and sunshine…it’s for your own good.  Enjoy the times of refreshing the Lord allows.  Take care of the physical and spiritual you!  You are the temple of the Lord!!!  Allow Him to restore you, for there will soon come a time when you’ll have to pick up the spiritual sword and fight again…but for this moment…take a time out!

Jesus, please help me to be more aware of when I need to rest.
When I’m tired and cranky or angry, I need to take a time out to be restored.
If you needed times like these, I know I cannot escape.
Help me to allow you to send me to time out and be obedient,
knowing that you always know what’s best for me.  My heavenly father.