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Monday, May 21, 2018

It's a Matter of Opinion


I’ve had this little itchy bump right between my shoulder blades for a little over a week.  It was located right in that spot that you couldn’t really get to without some real contortions!  So, I would find myself throughout the day backing up to a door frame and sliding back and forth in order to scratch it!  Have you ever had something like that?

Well, last night when I got out of the shower it was doing a little bit more than just being itchy, in point fact of fact, it was burning!  So, I stood there in front of the mirror turning this way and that in order to try and get a good view of whatever was going on back there!  I even got a magnifying mirror and a flashlight, but to no avail!  I kept thinking how simple it would have been if Piper could have come in and been my eyes where I couldn’t see… a role she played on numerous occasions throughout our lives together!

The only thing I could barely tell is that there were actually two spots and one of them looked like it had a dark scab on it.  Once I noticed that, it dawned on me that it could possibly be a tick!  We had found one on Piper last month and another on the dog a week or so ago.  I finally discovered that if I twisted to my left and pushed my left arm over behind my right shoulder (a regular Houdini right!) that I could barely reach it with my left hand.  Once there, I attempted to scrape at the spot so that I could possibly determine if it was just a scab or something else.

After a couple of tries, I took a peek under my nail on my left hand… and sure enough, there was a little tick attempting to crawl away from its captor!  Well, the escape didn’t work, the critter was sort-of crunched and down the drain he went!  Once the night adventure was over and I was able to put a swab of Neosporin ointment on both spots, I took a few moments to reflect on my thought pattern throughout the incident.  

At first the whole thing just seemed like a big bother to me.  Then it became a quest that at times was injected with thoughts of fear, stressing the possibility that I couldn’t get to it (with visions of some adverse reaction occurring) and had no one at home to help me out of the dilemma.  But you know… when push-came-to-shove, I decided that I wasn’t going to yield to FEAR and convinced myself that it was no big deal… even if I had to make a doctor’s appointment.

Once the fear was pushed aside my whole attitude changed from “I’m not sure I can do this” to “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (See: Philippians 4:13 MKJV)  From that point it seemed rather easy to stretch myself into weird contortions to remove the critter… and I wasn’t even sore after all my antics! 

I was so proud of my actions that I went in the bedroom to share my victory with Piper, but alas, she was sound asleep.  So, I looked down to the dog who was laid out on his bed near Piper’s bed and whispered what happened.  He seemed to be a willing audience and managed to momentarily wake up and look at me with sleep-filled eyes before plopping his head down and quickly returning to slumber-land.

I know that this is sort of a simplified example of following the commands of the Lord, but the principles are the same in any endeavor or touchy situation.  After telling us the importance of speaking the Word and keeping it in the forefront of your thoughts at all times, the Lord through Joshua 1:9 tells us to “be determined and confident! Do not be afraid or discouraged, for I, the LORD your God, am with you wherever you go." (Good News Bible)

This scripture is one of my all-time favorites with the word or idea of being “confident” as the main driving force behind it.  It is a Word of the Lord that I have drawn strength, courage and yes, confidence from in the midst of countless situations throughout the years of my adult life.  Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrews Definitions initially defines “confidence” as “to be strong, alert, courageous, brave, stout, bold, solid, (and/or) hard.”  Then there is a secondary meaning that I really like as it says “to make obstinate.”

The Oxford online dictionary describes being “obstinate” as “stubbornly refusing to change one’s opinion or chosen course of action DESPITE attempts to persuade one to do so.” Dictionary.com adds “not easily controlled or overcome.”

During my little episode last night, I got to the place where I refused to change my opinion that I could do what I needed to do (with God’s assistance) in order to rid myself of the pest on my back.  Piper and I also quickly discovered the same thing as we attempted to seek and follow the Lord’s directions for us in those very confusing first few years at the onset of knowing what was going on with her health. 

In the midst of people attempting to persuade us to follow what THEY uninformedly thought was best for us, I was forced to become stubbornly obstinate in obeying what we KNEW to be the Lord’s best for us, as we believed… and still do… that He has the best overall, far-reaching view of our past, present and future than any individual on this earth.  We’ve also learned that one of FEAR’S greatest objectives is to control or overcome one’s faith as well as the entire situation.

When it comes to our stands of faith, I firmly believe that God knew what He was talking about when He told Joshua before they crossed the Jordan River and in turn, told all of us throughout the following ages, to be Strong, Confident and Courageous and stubbornly refuse to change trusting in the opinion or chosen course of action that He has told us to follow, despite what others may say or do.  What do you say about that?

Have a wonderful week, and as you do, keep asking yourself… “Whose opinion am I expecting to seek and follow… no matter what others may say… today?”

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