Years ago Erma Bombeck wrote a funny book called “If Life Is a Bowl of Cherries, What Am I Doing in the Pits?” Sometimes we need humor to get out of the low places. Erma had a unique way of looking at stuff and showing the humor in it. Do you ever feel like the cherries took a hike and the pits remain?
Yesterday we lost or precious Gimpy. She was this most amazing handicap cat. Her front legs were not fully developed so she would walk on her front “elbows” and sometime stand on her hind legs to look around like a Mercat. She got so sick and was getting worse so we had to put her down. It was very sad.
When stuff like that happens, you know – death what happens to you? What rattles around in the brain housing unit you call a head? What happens in your heart? Sometimes I feel like Billy Crystal in City Slickers. The trail boss dies and Billy’s character Mitch brings it up. Little did he know that his two friends had a bet about how long it would take for him to mention it. Apparently Mitch liked to talk about death. I don’t want to be morbid like Mitch but want to stretch our thinking and hopefully grow in faith.
Growing in faith is like connecting the dots. God puts 2 and 2 together for us and wow! we see what He is up to. When we pray for someone to be healed and it happens on the spot we see a connection of dots. When we hear the rest of the story about someone we prayed for more dots come together. When we receive a greater revelation of Jesus…dot connection. When we see Grace all throughout the Word of God…dot connection. When we hear an answer to a question we have presented to God…dot. When we see just the right thing at the right time…dot. When we get a call from that person we were just thinking about…dot. When we are overwhelmed by the presence and love of God…dot. But then something happens where we don’t see the dots line up or at least we don’t think we do.
Do you know that God knows exactly how He made us? Of course you do but when you go from amazing “living-in-the-Spirit, I have it all figured out” mode to plain old dust-man, God knew that about you too.
1 Cor 15: 47 The first man [was] from out of earth, made of dust (earthly-minded); the second Man [is] the Lord from out of heaven. 48 Now those who are made of the dust are like him who was first made of the dust (earthly-minded); and as is [the Man] from heaven, so also [are those] who are of heaven (heavenly-minded). 49 And just as we have borne the image [of the man] of dust, so shall we and so [g]let us also bear the image [of the Man] of heaven. (AMP)
But still He has a plan. He has triumphed over everything, every trial, every deception, every lie, every hardship, even death.
1 Cor 15:25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For “God has put all things in subjection under his feet.” …54 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (ESV)
Notice that even now the sting of death has been removed! Christ took our sins!
But the point isn’t to discuss death as a subject but the stuff that we scratch our head about. What about that stuff? What happens when cherries are replaced by pits? The answer is still God. That hasn’t changed. He loves us He really does. He doesn’t give snakes for fish or stones for bread. He doesn’t give trials but triumphs when we trust Him in trials. Every trial is a chance to test our faith which comes from Him as He connects the dots.
James 1:2-4 Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way. 5-8 If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get his help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. People who “worry their prayers” are like wind-whipped waves. Don’t think you’re going to get anything from the Master that way, adrift at sea, keeping all your options open. (MSG)
He absolutely gives good gifts we just need to ask.
James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. (NKJV)
James 4:2 You do not have, because you do not ask (ESV)
And lastly His wisdom is amazing.
James 3:17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere (ESV)
I believe we are always going to be presented with dot-connecting opportunities. Cherries will be replaced by pits and the enemy will take swings at us. In all cases, however it is a chance to see the love of God. He really does have the answers and our supposed reality is just a shadow of His true reality.
We will miss our precious Gimpy. She was so amazing. She didn’t have that “I am above you humans” cat thing. She absolutely loved to be loved and loved to give love. I think we could all learn so much from the Gimpys of the world.
Yay God! You are mighty! You are worthy! You are our God! You are with us!