Who says that unplanned changes in routine can’t be good for you? I usually get up an hour or so before my wife in order to have my daily quiet study time with the Lord and His Word. I am constantly amazed at how much of a difference that time can make in my attitude, my physical strength and in my mental and spiritual well-being. But today… well, today was different.
When I got up I noticed that Piper was awake, a bit shaky and experiencing occasional body jerks. Those symptoms normally point to a rough morning. So instead of letting my feelings get the better of me, I sat down on the bed next to her and prayed, “Father you’ve helped us through all the situations that this disease has presented since 2009 and I am sure that you will help us through this morning’s needs as well.” I then asked for His wisdom and felt it best to go ahead and get her up… and to make a long story short… she actually responded well, and is sitting at the dining room table with me right now, resting comfortably and partaking of a nice breakfast! PTL! I am glad that I did not allow myself to give in to the fear that was nipping at my heart and mind earlier this morning!
One of the good things that came out of this change in schedule is that I did my morning Bible study with Piper in the dining room (instead of the quiet solitude of our study) with the sliding door opened to the sights and sounds of a beautiful fall type morning. This is actually the first time since the beginning of summer that the weather has been cool enough to open the door to the outside yard. It is also the first time we’ve got to use our new screen door in order to stop the little flying critters from coming in to the house!
I just love to take in all the morning scents and orchestrations of the birds, crickets and other wildlife that populates the forest around our home! It is not only relaxing, but also seems to have medicinal properties for both Piper and I!
As I mentioned above, the study of God’s Word also has medicinal properties for me. I’ve been studying from Ephesians chapter five over the last week or so and have been seeing answers to some of the things that I have been questioning from my own life experiences as well as comments and actions I see made by some of the leaders, or potential leaders in our country.
I find that I get frustrated when I see people who live in the public eye doing and saying things without any sense of shame, morality or thought concerning the consequences of their words and actions. Throughout my years of ministry I have always been taught and therefore sensitive to doing and saying things with a tangible mark of excellence. I may not be the brightest light in the room, or have the fastest or snappiest reply, but I always strive to think about the effects of my comments to those I am speaking with and in the overall context of the situation before I open my mouth!
Over the past few month there have been numerous examples of defenses made, actions taken and false reports given that cause me to shake my head and think: “You’ve got to be kidding… don’t they realize what that looks like?” I guess in some respects, it simply reflects the current state of the morality that is now acceptable in most public arenas of our society. And I hate to say it… but I’ve also experienced a few of these characteristics with some Christians as well!
It’s almost like we are now a “fear driven” society. I had the thought as I read from Ephesians 5:18 where the Apostle Paul tells his readers to “not be drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit…” (KJV) that one could metaphorically view that statement as to not be drunk with the excesses of the world. Think this through with me for a moment…
Since alcohol is a depressant, it depresses the normal capability to suppress one’s thoughts and actions. I’ve been around some who have had too much to drink and witnessed how they feel “a great sense of release”* and freedom to say and do whatever comes to mind, no matter who is around them! I’ve also been around some Christians who seemed to be so drunk with fear that they have lost all inhibition (of what we might call spiritual discernment) concerning what comes out of their mouths!
I have had more than one occasion when I found myself standing in their presence with my mouth wide open, aghast at what I just heard! One time an individual made an off-handed comment to Piper and I a few months after I had left my secular employment to care for Piper’s health needs 24/7, about a friend who was “destitute, just like you guys!” I am glad that I was standing behind them as I instantly burst into quiet laughter when I heard that and contemplated the seemingly unawareness and complete insensitivity to our situation as well as the complete falsity of the statement.
An interesting side-bar to these types of comments is found in Paul’s teaching on this subject in Ephesians 5:6-7 where he talked about the deception of foolish or vain words spoken toward us. In the Greek, the word ‘vain’ actually means ‘words that are destitute of spiritual wealth.’ (Thayer’s) That definition got me to wondering who was really the ‘destitute’ one as we have been saturating ourselves with the wealth of God’s promises from the beginning of our current journey and are assured of receiving God’s expected end. (See: Jeremiah 29:11) It’s like putting money in the bank!
So what do you think? Do you shake your head at the things you hear on the news every day? Have you ever thought about getting or being drunk with fear when the tough situations of life strike? I sure had that opportunity this morning when I got Piper up… and I am sure glad that I didn’t pick up that bottle of thought!
The one good thing that I have noticed within myself, is that when I see the things being said and done around us that question what I believe, it causes me to set my heels and dig in deeper to the Word and my sharpen my stand for God’s way and purposes! Then I pray… “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven…” (Matthew 6:10 KJV)
What about you? Have a terrific week, and as you do keep asking yourself… “What or Whom am I expecting to follow as my personal example for my life today?”
*”Be Rich” A Commentary on the book of Ephesians by Warren W. Wiersbe, chapter 11