Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Leaving This Den Unharmed

       I was doing my morning reading in a women's devotional Bible yesterday morning when one of the devotionals caught my eye as I was flipping through to find what I was supposed to read that day.. It wasn't in my daily reading but I stopped and read the verse. It was Daniel 6:23, "The king was overjoyed and gave orders to lift Daniel out of the den. And when Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound was found on him, because he had trusted in his God." (NIV) That got me to wondering what it will be like when my King, and hopefully yours, pulls me out of the den of iniquity that is this world.
       According to previous text the king spent a restless night after placing Daniel in the lion's den. This den was a pit Daniel was lowered into and it was full of hungry lions and empty of a means of escape. It grieved the king to invoke the punishment for the breaking of the law. He was overjoyed at the beginning of verse 23 because he found Daniel alive. Now God doesn't need sleep but I think it does grieve Him that sin has placed this punishment upon us and part of that punishment is separation from Him. One day He is returning and I hope He looks down into the pit and mire and finds me spiritually alive.
       Knowing if I will be spiritually alive when He comes requires some self-reflection. It says Daniel was found unharmed because he trusted God, not because God was trust worthy (thought of course He is) or because of God's Grace and Mercy (although that is certainly true) but BECAUSE HE TRUSTED HIS GOD. Self reflection sometimes asks harsh questions. Do I trust God? Do I really trust God? What came to me as I read that verse yesterday was that if I really trust God, then when I get Home I will be found spiritually unharmed.
      My physical body hurts and has been injured and been labeled defective but I'm leaving it behind. What matters  for Eternity is my spiritual being. I've had my hurts, my doubts, my fears but have they left lasting scars? I don't think so. He isn't called the Great Physician for nothing. He can mend those broken places and make them whole and take away the lingering reminders. If I let Him.
       So maybe it's not the question that is harsh but the answer. "Lord, have I let You work in my life?"

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Only Pebble on the Beach

         Last week I decided to schedule a road trip to see a dear friend who had moved. As it always has been, I can't just take off. I have others to consider. I am responsible for getting my son to and from school so naturally I checked his spring break schedule. I'd love to go sooner but winter travel is out of the question. 
      I e-mailed my friend and told her the dates of spring break and asked if I could visit. She loved the idea of me visiting but figured on having a houseful with her grandson visiting from college and her other children also planning to visit. I hadn't thought of that. I responded back with, "Boy don't I have only pebble on the beach syndrome?" 
      It's a phrase I grew up hearing. Mom would usually tell Paul he wasn't the only pebble on the beach, meaning she had other things to tend to. She still took care of both of our needs but on her schedule so if his favorite shirt was in the laundry and it wasn't laundry day, he was out of luck. (He could have hand washed the shirt and used the solar dryer but I don't think he ever did.) 
     I don't know if it was a control issue or just part of her independent armor. It suited her though. She lived life on her own terms as much as possible. So no, I wasn't the only pebble on the beach but I was a much loved pebble living in the shadow of independence and strength.