Saturday, December 22, 2012

Gastroenteritis (Stomach Flu)

Just very recently, I got over a stomach bug that has been going around.  First of all, I want to thank God for this bug.  It wasn't the norovirus, which has also been going around, and takes a long time to get over.  I thank Him that I had a much more standard variety of Gastroenteritis, the gory details of which I'll simply leave to those of you who even want to imagine such a thing.

Even while miserably unable to move, in pain, and generally feeling icky (that's the technical term) God was teaching me a lesson about His love.  For, you see, no matter how terrible I got to feeling, I also got to feeling better.  In this case it really didn't even take very long, at least considering how bad it could have been... cough... norovirus... cough.

It taught me another lesson, as well.  Bugs like this are most easily transmitted due to more direct contact with people.  In the winter time, we spend more time indoors, so we spend more time in close physical proximity to others, and in turn in close proximity with communicable illnesses.  But, God wants us to spend time with people.  He wants His family to spend time together, get to know each other, and learn about each other in Faith.  Illness is simply a common setback, but certainly not one too big for God.  We should do our best to keep our hands clean, though - so that we don't get other people sick.

It's a fitting metaphor for evil or sin.  We should always do our best not to spread evil to others, even unknowingly, by committing sin (or, getting them sick).  We can get others sick by sharing our disease (our human nature to sin) so we need to do our best to keep our hands clean (washed in the blood of Jesus).

Thank God for lessons like this one.  And, thank God for healing my body so that I can reflect on it properly.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Remember, and Pray

Our nation experienced a great loss of life today, at the hands of evil.  However, the man who shot all of those people, while apparently misguided by the whispers and cries of Satan, there's no way that we can know what was in his heart.  He committed a heinous act, of this nobody disagrees.  However, the action of a man cannot, in any way, overshadow the work that God was doing in the moment, and will continue to do after.  I pray that the people directly affected find peace in their hearts, and find healing in Him.  I pray that the family of the shooter finds a way towards the peace of God, and I pray for the soul of the shooter.  For, the shooter lost his way, and Satan had a firm grasp on his soul.

God, please help these people find you in the moments that follow, for without you, surely we would all be lost.  Amen.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

An Empty Freezer

My always-practical mother-in-law bought us a large chest freezer for Christmas this year.  I've wanted one for quite some time, so I'm glad that she did.  However, it struck me as a fitting metaphor for my relationship with God and Christ.  For, you see, right now the freezer is completely empty (my relationship isn't, I'll get to that in a minute).  It's turned on, waiting for frozen things to fill it, but for now, it's just a box full of cold air.

This is much like God's love for us. No, not cold and empty, though I could see how it might seem I was going in that direction.  No, his love is always available and waiting, ready for us to accept it as we become more like Christ.  As we fill our God-Freezer with love, the God-Freezer has more and more of its purpose fulfilled.  An empty freezer represents to me an empty relationship, or a complete lack of one, with God.  It has no real purpose, and it's impractical to keep it plugged in.  However, begin filling that freezer with food to preserve, and suddenly its purpose becomes obvious and very practical.  This is much like our lives in respect to God.  Empty of God, we wander without purpose.  Filled with God, and our purpose is obvious.  God is always plugged in, waiting for your heart and mind to fill His purpose.

One reason I think a freezer is a good metaphor, sometimes we take food out of the freezer to eat it. Taken as a metaphor, this is our sin.  Jesus died on the cross to give us the currency we need to buy more food to put back in the freezer.  For, all of the supermarkets of Grace were closed before Jesus died for us.  Now, all we have to do is truly desire forgiveness and seek it appropriately, and our God-freezers will be filled to the brim with nourishment again.  Surely, it won't always stay full, but we should always strive to keep it as filled as possible.

My own personal God-freezer isn't likely full right now.  I hope it's pretty close to full, but I'm also human, so I know I'm selfish, easily distracted, and otherwise not someone that's an obvious choice for elevation to saint-hood.  Even people like Mother Theresa probably had times where their God-freezer wasn't full, but I imagine hers was close to full much more often than mine tends to be.

I pray that God will help me find my way to filling up my freezer (the metaphorical one, not the literal one) and into his Kingdom.  It seems fitting, after all, since winter has arrived around here (mostly). Amen.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Responsible Grandchild

Me with Grandpa and Grandma
I have the privilege to have a living grandfather.  While a "young" member of the greatest generation, I think he still qualifies as a member of such.  I respect and revere the man, and love every chance I get to spend time with him.  He has a wonderful clean sense of humor.  He always has a story to tell that lightens the heart.  And he always seems to be smiling, no matter what.

My sister started writing letters (yes, snail mail) to him a while ago, and has told me a little about the content of said letters.  It's inspired me to start doing the same thing.  For, while he's still young at heart, he has a great-grandchild (my child) so he is not physically young.  The time will come much too soon for my mortal heart that God will call him home.  I'm sure he will go willingly, for God called his wife home many years ago, and to this day still speaks of her with more love and fondness than I've seen in some living marriages.

I don't know what will come of our letter conversations.  I expect I'll learn some things about my family that will excite me and surprise me.  I'm sure I'll learn some of the more personal stories of American history.  But, most of all, I'll learn as an adult the kind of man that I can grow into being someday.  While he's far from perfect (just ask his children) he certainly gives me something to aspire to in terms of my character.

Pray for me as I embark on this journey.  I have no idea what to write to him, honestly, because I've only ever known him as Grandpa, and never really thought of him in grown up terms until recently.  I'm sure the pen-pal relationship will be a great one, as I'm sure God brought the idea to me in the first place.