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A few years back, news reports told the story of Randy Reid, a 34-year old construction worker who was welding on top of a nearly-completed water tower outside Chicago when he unhooked his safety gear to reach for some pipes. At the same time, a metal cage slipped and bumped the scaffolding he was standing on. It tipped, and Reid lost his balance, sending him to the ground in a 110-foot fall where he landed face-down on a pile of dirt, just missing rocks and construction debris.
A fellow worker called emergency services, and when paramedics arrived, they found Reid conscious, moving, and complaining of a sore back. As paramedics carried him on a backboard to the ambulance, Reid had just one request: ‘”Don’t drop me.”
Doctors later said Reid came away from the accident with no more than a bruised leg.
Sometimes we are like that construction worker in our faith; we trust God to save us from the long fall of our sins, then fret over the three-foot falls of everyday details. We may trust God with the big things we don’t understand, and count on Him for our eternity, but when it comes to trusting in Him for our Mondays, or the mundane details of paying the bills and taking care of our families, we have a much more difficult time.
The Bible is full of occasions where God did incredible miracles to prove His protection for His people, only to see those same people whine and complain a short time later that they were somehow out of the scope of His care. You need look no further than the exodus of the children of Israel from Egypt, where they saw God miraculously deliver them through the Red Sea, and then had the pity party of the ages because they perceived He had led them into the desert to die. Oh, how soon we all are prone to forget.
The point here is obvious. Trust Him. The same God you trusted your eternity to–the One who proved once and for all how much He loved you by sending His Son as a sacrifice for your sin–is worthy of your trust for all the details of your life. After you’ve enthroned Christ as Lord of your heart in an act of faith for salvation, you don’t have to crawl back up on the throne to run your daily affairs.
He won’t drop you, I promise. I look forward to seeing you Sunday!
You have probably heard the story about the little girl who went to the pediatrician’s office for a check-up. As the doctor looked into her ears with an otoscope, he asked, “Do you think I’ll find Big Bird in here?” The little girl stayed silent.
Next, the doctor took a tongue depressor and looked down her throat. He asked, “Do you think I’ll find the Cookie Monster down there?” Again, the little girl didn’t utter a word.
Then the doctor put a stethoscope to her chest. As he listened to her heart beat, he asked, “Do you think I’ll hear Barney in here?”
“Oh, no!” the little girl replied. “Jesus is in my heart. Barney’s on my underwear.”
Whether it be your underwear or your heart, God knows all about it. The Bible tells us that man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart. And He knows for sure whether Jesus does indeed abide in your heart of hearts, just as He knows what color your undies are–or whose picture is printed on them! He knows.
The question is, do you know where you stand with the Lord? Are you certain that He lives inside your heart? If so, how does His presence in your life make a difference in the way you live? Can others see that difference? I hope they can.
Perhaps it may be a good time for you to get a check-up from your heart doctor this week. They don’t call Him the Great Physician for nothing! He can change your life, heal your hurt, meet your needs, and fulfill your deepest desires. And the best thing is, He already knows what’s inside you…and He loves you anyway!
This Sunday, I hope you’ll join us at Shelby Crossings as we examine our spiritual health, according to God’s standards. I look forward to seeing you there.
A personal note: Thanks to each of you for your prayers, your words of comfort and consolation, and your acts of kindness to my family this week after the loss of my mother. We are so very grateful to each of you for your love for us, and so blessed to be a part of the Shelby Crossings family.
I need to confess up front that I’m not one of those grown-ups who sit around saying that they sure hope the snow misses us. I not only like it, I’ve been known to stay up all night watching the TV weather guys hyping the latest “Winter Storm 2011,” and enjoy it. And as I write this on Thursday morning, I have to say how much I love the picture of the snow-covered ground outside my office window.
I’m not sure why I’m so fascinated and excited about snow. Maybe it’s because I’ve been waiting for more than twelve years to make good use of my Clark W. Griswald disk that my wife bought me for Christmas the first year we moved into our house with the steep driveway. All these years later, our driveway has still never been covered with snow. Not once. But I have not given up.
Or, maybe it’s because I love to see the excitement in my children’s eyes as they see the flakes flurry from the sky, and as they build the inevitable snow man (or, recently, the “ice man”) in our yard. Or maybe it’s the beauty of God’s creation all decked out in white. Perhaps a few winters up north would cure me of it for life, but for now I do like to see the “wintry precipitation.”
I understand everyone doesn’t feel that way. When I prayed in our small group on Wednesday night, thanking God for the snow that was falling outside, I heard a few groans more than “amens.” Some see snow as a great inconvenience to their busy schedule. Or a safety hazard–or an emergency trip for milk and bread–to be avoided. But I see it, often, as God’s meteorological STOP sign. Here in the south, snow usually shuts down our world for the day. It’s a free holiday–“Snow Day!”–usually with no school, little or no work, and lots of play. And then you come inside, take off the cold, wet clothes, drink hot chocolate and stand by the fire. It doesn’t get a lot better than that.
Frankly, I think God wants us all to build more STOP signs into our lives, no matter the weather, to “be still and know that He is God” (Psalm 46:10). I hope and pray that at least some of the Winter Storms of 2011 have provided some days for you to do just that.
We probably won’t get much more in the way of winter weather this year, but it won’t be because I don’t wish it. But we do have plenty of opportunities to stop…to be still…and to let God intervene in our routine, and surprise us with His blessings from above. I pray you won’t miss those opportunities, even this week.
I will say that I’m glad the weather forecasts call for clear skies (and roads) for the weekend so we won’t have any problems getting together for worship at Shelby Crossings. I am praying for you, as I hope you are for me, and I look forward to seeing you on Sunday.
Go to any supermarket, or check out the grocery store circulars in the newspaper this week, and you’ll see there are plenty of snack foods and drinks of all kinds on sale this weekend. A coincidence? Nope. It’s in preparation for the second biggest party day of the year (after New Year’s Eve), Super Bowl Sunday. No doubt, whether you are “partying” or not, most of your TV’s will be tuned in at some point Sunday evening to watch Super Bowl XLV.
It’s the most watched sporting event in the world, with well over a billion people expected to be watching. Of course, it’s not just the game that we watch, but also the creative new ads. This year advertisers are spending right at $3 million for each thirty-second spot in the game’s broadcast–simply because they know that for once guys won’t be hitting their remotes to switch channels during the commercials. And if past history is any indication, the buzz on Monday morning will be less about the Packers and Steelers than about the entertaining ads.
But still, when all is said and done, all the excitement is about a simple football game, an event that was once described as 100,000 people who need exercise sitting and watching 22 guys running around who need rest. For whatever reason, this game captures our imagination and our attention like none other. It is truly an American tradition, and the whole world stops to watch as well.
Of course, you don’t have to tell people in Alabama how important football is in our lives, though the focus locally is usually reserved for the college variety. Many times our passion for the game in this state has been compared to a religious fervor, except that even in the Bible Belt, few people take their religion quite thatseriously. Some suggest that our three favorite sports in Alabama are football, spring football practice, and football recruiting (as evidenced by this week’s hoopla over signing day). Just watch the sports on the local TV news or listen to sports talk radio any time of the year and you’ll see what I mean.
There’s nothing wrong with getting excited about a game now and then, but I hope we all keep it in perspective. More than anything, I hope we realize what’s reallyimportant in life, and prioritize our lives accordingly.
When you realize that God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to live and die on our behalf, so that we could have life–life eternally, and life abundantly–then every Sunday is Super Sunday. The fact that He loves us, and wants to have a deep and meaningful relationship with us that brings us lasting peace and joy like nothing this world has to offer is worthy of a celebration not just the first Sunday of February, but ever day throughout the year.
I hope to see you this Sunday at Shelby Crossings as we gather together in His name to celebrate the difference Jesus Christ makes in our lives. It’s going to be a superday!