The weather around where we live has been great over the last few weeks and Sunday was no different. I couldn’t wait until we could go out and enjoy the day! After church we took the dog for a walk around our community and then packed the camera, the ice chest and the wife into the Mustang and took off! Even though it was a bit blustery, I still put the top down on the car so we could really get the feel of the warm but yet crisp autumn afternoon.
A few days previous to Sunday I had purchased Piper an elastic wool beret that I thought might be good for her to wear during our daily walks when the cold winter weather hits. Well as it turns out, it is a perfect hat for her to wear in the convertible. I had quickly learned that riding in the car with the top down is not advantageous to her when her hair is not put up in a clip or without a hat as it blows out in ALL directions… which is actually quite funny to me but definitely NOT to her!
As usual, after a few moments of driving with the top down, Piper became alert and sat up in her leather seat. Like I have mentioned before, I am continually amazed as that has happened EVERY time we’ve gone for a drive! Once again we drove out to the little town of Apex, this time to look at a house I found for sale on a reality website, drive around the neighborhoods bordering the historic downtown area and then do a little shopping. I think that we are just about set now for future excursions. We have Piper’s car hat, her car brush, and a bottle of sun screen! Come to think of it… I still have to toss an extra jacket for her into the car.
On the way home I looked across the red and black trimmed interior of our car to Piper and mentioned how interesting it is that she always seems to wake up when we put the top down on the car. I wondered if it really was a sign of God’s confirmation that the car was right and being used of Him as part of her healing or because it was simply the environment stimulated by the sun, the crisp weather and the wind blowing all around us. Whatever it is, it revitalizes and brings life to my wife!
That picture came vividly flowing back into my mind’s eye this morning as I read from John 6:63. Here Jesus declares: “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life.” (KJV) While riding in the car with the breeze swirling about her, my wife is seemingly “quickened” or “revitalized” as Strong’s describes it, just as Jesus says the Spirit does to us!
What really caught my attention though, was the next part of that verse where Jesus makes the point that “the flesh profits nothing!” (EMTV) That statement of fact immediately caused me to recall the emptiness I have felt when in the presence with or in phone conversations with certain Christians. As I thought about it, I realized that these well-meaning folks either tended to keep the conversation strictly on a natural level of understanding or if they talked about God’s possibilities, they kept Him limited within the confines of a box that was constrained by their limited vision of what they thought God could do for us.
According to Jesus’ teaching, they were keeping their expectations limited by the flesh… and it left me feeling QUITE EMPTY (and by all physical and emotional appearances, my wife as well)! We have come to experience three different kinds of Believers over the last five years since my wife’s original diagnosis. The first are those who tend to live their lives in the box of their own natural understanding. Then there are those who say they believe in the miraculous, but tend to keep God in a box that is limited by their own beliefs. And the third consists of those who seem to be open for God to do ANYTHING!
What has been simply amazing to me is that I have surprisingly found the third group of Christians in what I considered some of the most unlikely places! Most of these folks I discovered outside the walls of my own church fellowship, in denominations whose statement of faith does not openly purport such things! I found this fact to be quite refreshing and quite humbling at the same time!
As I closed down my study time this morning and began to think about getting Piper up for the day, I was suddenly stopped short in my actions when I heard my own voice asking aloud: “Do I have God and/or myself in a box? I am limiting God by what I believe is the ONLY way for Piper’s healing… or for the way we are living our lives?" That was kind of a scary thought to me! And while I don’t think that I am, I definitely want to keep our options and possibilities with and of the Lord open to His fluidity and discretion!
How about you? Where do you fit in with the three types of Believers I mentioned above? If I understand the love of the Father, then the good news is that wherever you find yourself, that it is never too late to break out of the box and open yourself up to ALL the possibilities of Papa God! Always remember that we serve and worship a God who can do “exceedingly, abundantly above all that we ask or think – far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams!” (Ephesians 3:20 – KJV/MSG)
That’s the God I serve… HOW ABOUT YOU?
Have another great day. Stay in tune to His Word, and keep asking yourself… “What or Whom am I expecting to let out of MY BOX today?”