I held a tiny hummingbird in my hand today. Such a magnificent little jewel with a heartbeat. Addled by the impact of a glass door, no choice but to rest in my palm. This, only days after saving a baby bird from a culvert that it had managed to fall into; mama bird waiting overnight for her baby to be rescued by the strong hand of a man. She waited right by his side, trusting him. Knowing that he was there to help.
These fragile little creatures of wonder. With wings too weak to fly.
I just now got the message, Lord.
When my wings are too weak....... rest in the strong hands of the One who made us all, big and small.
Saturday, March 14, 2015
Saturday, February 21, 2015
Every one of us has a pet sin. Whether you believe it or not, it's true.
Some of our pets are like mice. We tell ourselves and everyone else that they aren't there. But they follow us around, eating the food we leave out for them and leaving droppings on the counter. Others have pet sins like horses. They house them, feed them, groom them, and give them plenty of room to run. But no matter how much they dress it up and comb it's mane, it's still sin.
The crazy thing about sin is that we can so clearly see the sins of others, as it they are parading them around town on a leash. However, we continue to ignore the sin that is running circles around our own feet. Matthew 7:3 says "Why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye but don't notice the log in your own eye?" Our sins are our pets. We feel very personally about them. But God calls us to be like Jesus Christ, and that means we are to strive for a sin free temple.
Oftentimes, as Christians, God will convict our hearts about our sin and we will try to turn against it. It reminds me of a stray cat that we let hang out around our house. At first we don't really want it around, but eventually we get used to it. Maybe we even get a little attached to it. One day the cat carries in some dead creature and the stench of it makes us sick, so we run the cat off. But as the days or weeks or months pass, we start missing that cat. So we leave the back door cracked open and we set out some food, waiting for an opportunity to pet the soft fur of that old sin again. Too many times we have a soft spot for our sin. We easily forget about the stench that comes with it. There is joy in sin for a season, but the stench of death will always come back eventually.
Don't make friends with your sins. Don't let them become your pets.
Dealing with our own sin is not a game of comparison. We are all guilty. "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." Romans 3:23
I think a lot of times we like to hold our sins up to the sins of others and point out that ours are lesser. But that, of course, isn't true. Sin is sin. In the eyes of our Lord and Savior, all sin is condemnable. We justify our drinking habit by pointing out that at least we don't drink as much as so-and-so. Or we downplay our promiscuity by comparing our stats to those of another. It's always that log in our own eye. I don't think God looks at us and our sins like a pie graph, considering our general goodness in the light of the whole. God works on a personal level, closely examining each heart and the content thereof.
We are each responsible for our own sin and the only accurate way for us to gauge our own heart is to hold it up the the light of the Word of God.
Our standard should not be the world.
It should be the Word.
Monday, January 5, 2015
Have you ever wondered why we decorate evergreen trees for Christmas? This was the question skipping through my mind as I sat staring at the glowing branches of my own tree two days after Christmas, trying to soak up the magic before dismantling the whole thing.
"How absurd," I thought to myself. "I have a tree in my living room. Why?" With a little research I found that there are as many stories about the origin of the Christmas tree as there are ways to decorate it. Several center around the thought that the evergreen branches represent the eternal nature of Christ and that the shape of the tree is like an arrow pointing to Heaven. As lovely as that is, it still doesn't explain why so many of us erect eight foot tall frasier firs inside our homes every year. It makes me chuckle. Just the thought of the things we do just because it's tradition. Cutting down a real, live tree and dragging it into my living room and then covering it with lights and ornaments? I laugh a little more every time I think about it. Dragging a fake tree out of storage and fluffing its branches seems even sillier, still.
As I sat entranced by Christmas lights, my thoughts flitted like a bird from one thing to the next. Why does the season seem so fleeting, even though the Christmas holiday starts to infiltrate everything as soon as Halloween is over? Why does it simultaneously feel like too much and yet, somehow, not enough? Why is everything on the menu filled with guilt and gluten? Why do people want to pretend that Christmas is not a religious holiday?...................................Why do people want to pretend that Christmas is not a religious holiday?
Pondering on this question, I am even more baffled than I was about the tree thing. Christmas is the celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Hence the name Christ-mas. Yet some folks try like heck to eradicate Christ from Christmas. Why? You wouldn't have Christmas if it weren't for Christ. Denying that fact would be like another country adopting our celebration of July 4th and then insisting that it is politically incorrect to refer to it as Independence Day. What?!? Seriously?
Interestingly enough, I don't get angry about non-Christians celebrating Christmas. Instead, it makes me sad. They may revel in the glitz, the parties, the traditions, and the gifts, but they are missing out on the most important gift. The gift of salvation through the Son of God. And despite all the invitations they may receive through the holidays, they are refusing to open the greatest invitation. For that little baby Jesus was God's invitation to mankind to spend eternity with him, the God of the universe. Christ was sent to live a human life and die a sacrificial death in order for us to be redeemed. All we have to do is accept the invitation. God loves the people of this world so much that He didn't want to see a single one of us perish. So He invited us to come to him by sending his own son to pay for our sins. It seems a little absurd, doesn't it? That the God of everything wants a personal relationship with each of us. That the salvation of mankind would be born in a stable. Absurd, indeed. But glorious beyond our understanding. Beautiful, mysterious, miraculous. Glorious.
Now I see that tree a little differently. Maybe it really is a reflection of Christ. My heart swells and my eyes blur with tears as I take in the beauty, the glory, and the mystery of the absurd. I feel fully content as I take down my tree, piece by piece, remembering that the gift of Christ doesn't get packed away with the ornaments. No. That gift stays in my heart eternally, for I have accepted the invitation.
Praise God for the invitation of Christmas. Have you accepted it? The invitation still stands.