I Want My Dull Life Back!
What has happened in your life thelast few weeks? It’s OK. You can tell me. Seriously, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org. The flip side is you have to listen to what happened to me the last fewweeks! And, just so this won’t be allabout me, I will tell you what happened to the Gano’s first.
Their son Spencer was burningbrush. He used gasoline to start thefire and got more than he bargained for. He personally caught on fire. From the photos Ray posted on facebook itlooks like it was a wonderful blessing that he was wearing a t-shirt. That protected him to some extent. He was burned pretty badly. He had to be taken to a burn unit. And of course, while I have a LOT of sympathyfor Spencer, as a parent I may have more sympathy for his parents Ray andTrayce. I think it may actuallyphysically hurt parents more than kids when a kid gets hurt.
In my life I have a bit of good newsmixed with bad. A doctor has a clue tomy extreme fatigue – and it isn’t something you die from. You just have fatigue. I was so tired I couldn’t even get on theplane for a planned visit to my mom. Ilost my money for the ticket and mom is still bawling. My doctor says he may be able to help me alot – so there is a silver lining there.
THEN my son and husband were ready fortheir week at deer camp. They had set uptheir tent a few days earlier. They andmany other people do that every year. Well, this year someone went through and stole everything! So we had to replace a lot of expensive stuffon a minute’s notice.
Then I didn’t get to go because I amsupposed to be spending all my time resting. It isn’t that hard to lay down most of the time, but it is boring.
THEN, setting up the tent and cots mydaughter Raina had the tip of one finger crushed into smithereens. The Surgeon says he cannot help; and that sheshould expect extreme pain for around six months minimum. I think she needs a second opinion.
THEN, someone broke into the pickuptruck in the driveway last night and stole her new camera, a Zen, a back packfilled with hunting paraphernalia, a new set of Leopold binoculars, and othermiscellaneous items.
All these things going on here, and Iam thinking, ‘I am supposed to be at my mom’s right now eating my birthdaycake. It is a special cake that only mygrandmother and mother can bake. Well, Icould probably do it, but it takes a lot of work to make that sort of cake. It is called a Prune Cake – which mom alsomakes the complimenting prune frosting. (I don’t like prunes, and the name sounds awful but the cake isgood. I will get you the recipe if youwant it.) Instead I am sitting on mycouch, where I have been for weeks, (except for the 3 days I went to my sisterin laws house and laid on her couch), and thinking, ‘Wow! This is a lot to happen so closetogether.’
In categorizing my disasters, I haveto be honest, the only thing that really matters is my daughter’s finger. Shehas been in extreme pain ever since it happened. It is big mess. On a personal note, my doctor has a plan toimprove my health, so that is good. Thishas been an overwhelming few वीक्स.
So, thieves, accidents, and illnesshave all had an unusually high impact on our lives lately. And you know what that makes me? Homesick. That’s right. I want mymama! I also want my daddy, who is inheaven. In fact, I want everything thatis heaven. In heaven we know there willbe no thieves, and nothing will be eaten by moths or rats when you store it fora while. It will be a wonderful place. Heaven will never be dull. There will be no trauma in heaven. Who wouldn’t want to go there?
The current situation is the world hasa lot of problems, bad people, and hard times. We are stuck on this planet as long as we breathe air, or until the Kingof kings decides it is time for that great supernatural evacuation we call theRapture.
So, what are we supposed to do whilewe are here? How are we supposed to copewith disaster weeks in our lives? Whatare we supposed to do when disaster month, or even disaster year happens tous? There are disasters from which wecan never recover. I will never recoverfrom the death of my sister. I havelearned to sort of deal with it and cope with it. But, life has never been the same withouther, and it will never be the same. Don’tdo it, but if you sat down to make list of all the traumatic events in yourlife, I am guessing it would not be a short or trivial list. You would have plenty to say. What is more important than the list is howyou react to the difficulties that you personally face.
I believe there are two importantthings you have to do when there is even a small problem in your life.
First you have to actually admit thereis a problem. Being ‘tuff’ enough to keep going doesn’t include beingdelusional enough to convince yourself there wasn’t really a problem to beginwith, or that you pushed your way through the problem without any personalstress. Even small problems do requiretime to mentally recoup and come up with a plan of how you are going to facethe future. The best way to ‘rest yourbrain’ and unwind is through light reading of the Bible. Just pick a few chapters and read them overand over every morning and evening for a few weeks. Right now, I personally am using the firstfive chapters of Luke. It becomes like avisit with a dear friend by the time you have done that for a few days. I just finished reading the last 5 chaptersof the book of Psalms. I was stuck on that for nearly a month. Every chapter begins and ends with ‘praise theLord’. It is pretty clear. I learned that praise of the Lord is acommandment, a joy, and even a weapon. That is just my suggestion. Youmay have a better way to unwind, but this is a good and productive way tounwind for me.
Second, while you are in the mode of‘taking to the Lord’ you need to consider if there are any ways you can ‘tweak’your walk with the Lord. You may realize that more thankfulness and praise arein order. These two things are theattitude changers that will pull you toward the future instead of letting youspend an overly lengthy amount of time dwelling on whatever has happened to yourecently, or even what has happened long ago. From the vantage point ofthankfulness and praise to our God, you will likely get a twinge of sorrow forthe unsaved of the world. You will belooking forward to heaven and start thinking about the people you will see thereand how much you will enjoy seeing them again, and all the things you will dotogether for eternity. Then the faces ofthose you know won’t be in heaven start to creep into the pleasant thoughts ofheaven. You realize there will be gapsin your family and friends. Then youthink about where they will be. Theywill be in that eternal place of separation from all the good things ofGod. They will be in hell. It matters not what false god they followedhere on earth. They all lead to a placethat is separate from God Almighty. Itis a place of eternal torment.
When your evangelical zeal begins togrow, you will know that whatever trial you have just faced, be it great orsmall, that your trouble has begun to work for good. It is working for your good and for the goodof the lost.
In America today we are seeing stormson the horizon coming toward us quickly. Our first thoughts are usually regarding the safety of our families andourselves. Next we think of friends, Wewant to help those in danger. Whether itbe financial problems, personal loss, or even persecution of specificideologies, we would like to help. Mostly we would like to help if it costs us little to nothing. On a grander scale, we may even be willing tohelp if it costs us a little more money, but less personal effort. Honestly, just do what seems good at themoment. If you can help someone, youbetter do it.
Honestly, I believe the events of ourpersonal lives, as well as social and political trends at least partly designedto encourage Christians to evangelism. Evangelism is for our good as well. Can you imagine a better treasure to lay up safely in heaven than thesouls of the lost? Christ placed suchvalue on those separated from Him that He died so they would have theopportunity to choose life with Him in heaven. By His example we know that the lost won to Christ are treasures.
Honestly, I am not the most successfulof one on one soul winners For onething, I just am not around many people. I find that instead of a soul-winning event, I much more often have achance to make a right comment, or answer a question. That is usually as far as it goes. I have learned that you can’t push it. I sometimes have good luck by asking leadingquestions. In the United States, mostpeople have heard the Gospel and rejected it off hand. They are hard to even get to the meetingtable, much less convince to join the party. Their lack of response doesn’t give us an excuse not to try.
I believe the best success nationallyfor Christians to impact the world for Christ is for the individual Christianto begin to act a Christian. Forget themega church, church growth, and pay attention to your own actions. If you love the Lord, then keep Hiscommandments. They are not that hard to understand. Do the things Christ says to do. Treat others the way you want to betreated. There is no magic in the wordsof human beings. Just because someonesays, ‘I will keep the commandments. Ilove God. I will show Him I love Him bymy actions,’ doesn’t mean they have suddenly become a fine example of Christianbehavior. They have to actually DO theythings they say they are going to do. (Iam appalled at the number of people who say they are going to do something,then don’t do it, and then never even realize it didn’t get done.)
Remember that national evangelicalsuccess begins with the individual, then the family, then the churches, andthen the nation.
So, live like you are aChristiअ n. God doesn’t need you to lie,cheat, or steal, to accomplish His will in your life. He needs you to rely on Him for real comfortand help.
Be ready to speak a word or answer aquestion about Jesus Christ at every opportunity.
If you get someone who is reallyinterested in salvation, be ready to tell them what is required of them to besaved.Recognize separation from God becauseHe is perfect and we are not.
Perfection cannot allow imperfectioninto heaven.
Don’t compare yourself to the goodnessof some good people you know, but to the utter perfection of God.
Turn from the life you now lead andput your faith in Christ.
You salvation is not based on works,but the proof of your salvation is based on your actions.
Live according to Bible teachings.
Tell others that Jesus Christ is the wayinto heaven.
No matter what is going on in thelives of Christians, there are certain guidelines by which they are tolive. One of those guidelines is tonever miss an opportunity to tell the world that Jesus Christ is the way, thetruth, and the life. Tell them that noone gets to God the Father except through Jesus Christ the Son.
One of the most interesting thingsthat has happened to me in recent years is to begin selling Siberian ForestCats. It is somewhat overwhelming thenumber of people we have met through the cats, and through our web site. Many are lost. Soon there will be a page on our web sitecalled ‘My Pet died. Did it go toheaven?’ We have quite a few hits to ourweb page, and a lot of people are looking for another pet because a well-lovedpet has died. We are telling them tofirst make sure where they are going when they die – because they want to makecertain that they and their pets wind up in the same place. Then we are telling them how to besaved. What an opportunity!
Wherever you are, whatever you do,there is opportunity to live like you take God’s instructions seriously. There are people who will notice how youact. Sometimes you will have anopportunity to speak out about the saving grace of Jesus Christ. Don’t missthat opportunity to tell someone about Jesus.