Thursday, December 17, 2015

Shadows!!! (Stop, drop, and...)


Just before I closed my eyes for the evening, the phone rang. Late night phone calls rarely bring great news and this was no exception. The caller ID listed the call as unknown. I reeled with even greater alarm. It was a voicemail from the school district that my son attends. A district wide threat was made via e-mail that promised extreme violence without specification of campuses.

The threat came on the hills of threats towards school districts in California and New York as well as the multi-sight attack in Paris, France.

Psalm 23:4New King James Version (NKJV)
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

When you really think about everything that is going on in our local, national and global existence, we are constantly threatened with life suffocating circumstances.

If the threat doesn’t take you out, the anxiety over the threat will cause you to contemplate quitting.

In Psalm 23, David the Psalmist gave guidance on how to handle life’s death threats.

Threats are like shadows. Many of them are superficial or lack the substance to do anything substantial. I am not diminishing the fact that shadows can be intimidating, but I am saying that small subjects cast considerable yet innocuous shadows. I read that no one has ever been bitten by a shadow….

We have dark spots in life. The moments are scary and intimidating. But, like the best friend that screams with you on the big roller coaster, holds your hand on the airplane, or walks you through the halls on your first day of school – you have an eternal companion for your shadowy circumstances.

Although you can’t physically see God beyond his outstanding creations, you can find solace in your dark spots. An example of everything you will go through or can avoid is found in the Bible. It is your ultimate teacher’s manual for the open book test called life.

Last week, I asked my son to retrieve something from my bedroom. The room was dark and what I needed was in the back. I decided to follow him and see if he would be successful. After receiving his instructions, my son ran to the room and dropped to his hands and knees before entering. He could see enough to get to his destination but wasn’t tall enough to add sufficient light. So, instead of abandoning his purpose from fear of the shadows or fall over the room’s obstacles, he dropped down and eased his way through.

When you can’t run – walk.

When you can’t walk – crawl.

God has your hand and the moment you drop down to acknowledge His guidance – You will more readily recognize that He will guide you. Instead of fearing the shadows, have faith in the Healer, the Guide, the Comforter, the Protector, the Savior, and YOUR FRIEND.

My son went to school and came home safely – Thank You God!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Perfect blindness...

It was the second round of a highly anticipated fight - UFC 193 in Melbourne. Two undefeated champions with pride, respect, and titles on the line were relentlessly fighting. Suddenly, Holly "The Preacher's Daughter" Holm rocked Ronda "Rowdy" Rousey with a kick to the side of the head. Ronda dropped to the canvas and Holly approached to finish the fight. The ref stepped in and the match was over. The feeling of shock filled the arena and smothered social media. How could this super-woman get caught by a kick to the face?

In a recent article, Ronda stated that although it will take some time to rehab her injuries - a rematch is a no brainer. She will fight again!

This fight made me consider the unexpected face-plants and traps that we experience. Understanding that we are created in God's image and that we are supposed to seek God first regarding everything we do - does that nullify us from falling? I've been there...assuming I knew it all. Life sent a flooring kick and smashed the canvas against my face.

Matthew 5:45New Living Translation (NLT) In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.

Even in your attempts to live perfectly - that does not preserve you from the pain of falling. Life is full of unexpected occurrences that knock us off our feet. Traps happen to the best of people. There will come a time when you will be CAUGHT off guard. Its not your fall that matters - it is your faith in Who can get you up and set you free.

1 John 4:14New Living Translation (NLT)  Furthermore, we have seen with our own eyes and now testify that the Father sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.

It is a blessing to know that your God sent His only Son to be your savior and your healer! Despite the color of your skin, the size of your bank account, the extent of your mistakes, or the depth of your wounds - YOU HAVE A SAVIOR. You will get up from the canvas and you will fight again.

In closing, there is a super cool selfie circulating the internet. Two Canadians found a majestic bald eagle caught in a trap. They saved the eagle from the trap, but before letting it go, they took a picture with it.

Its kinda funny when you think about it.

One of an eagle's most profound features is its eyesight. An eagle has two foveae or centers of focus. This gives the bald eagle ability to see simulataneously in front and to the side of them.

With nearly human sized eyes, the bald eagle can spot its prey from an altitude over 1000 feet. That's like having multiplied perfect vision and a picture better than 4K television.

Yet, even with perfect sight - it was blind to the trap. And, the eagle's freedom came from an unexpected source.

Don't be surprised when the very people you expected to be against you end up aiding you. God sees you in your fallen state and He has prepared your way of escape.

I know you will get up again - I know you will fly again - I know you have a savior - and I know HE will use your circumstance for your good!

The same canvas floor that my face felt a few years ago is now under my feet. I'm up and fighting - you can too!