A couple weeks ago, my wife and I went to visit my sister and brother-in-law. One day we started reminiscing, and talking about how things were back in the Stone Age when we were kids. I remembered how my sister used to bake delicious cookies on the Micro-rock, but she said she doesn’t do that anymore.
Of course, we really didn’t grow up in the Stone Age. I know that will be surprising to many of you, but I have to confess this. If I remember right, my sister’s cooking was really done over a wood-burning stove.
In any case, though, I dare you to walk into the kitchen of your mind with me, and breathe deeply. If you think that smell is to die for, my friend, you’re right. But it doesn’t hold a candle to the scrumptious taste of warm cookies, with a cool glass of milk.
All of that would have been great, but unfortunately my sister didn’t stick to cookies, and March 2, 1819 will forever go down in history. On that day, she got it in to her head to make pancakes. I had always been a big fan of her cooking, but unbeknownst to me, that was about to change. Let me give you a blow-by-blow account of what followed.
I found out later that my sister had used the chemistry set which she received for her birthday, mixing the pancakes up in a beaker the night before. To my horror, I would also find out by putting the pieces together that by doing this, she thought she could reduce the cooking time. But I was famished, and the pancakes looked and smelled great, so I dove right in.
The first couple bites weren’t too bad, but then it happened. My fork began to sink, and I heard a strange bubbling sound. I knew my life was in danger, so I was glad no one else was in the room.
Carefully using my fork, I tried to pull the pancakes apart, but they sprang back. Still hungry, I cautiously popped a small bite into my mouth.
When I woke up, I was told I was lucky to be alive. To this day, I still don’t like pancakes.
Sometimes, all of us aproach life in the same way I dug into my sister’s pancakes. We may mix our plans up in life’s chemistry set, and then come back later to view the finished product. Our dreams appear great to our natural senses, so we dive in without a thought. But many times, little cracks in the sidewalk of life begin to show themselves, and before we know it we find that life’s pancakes turn out to be raw in the middle.
Then, when looking at our problems, we tend to blame God for the fix we find ourselves in. We may not have listened to others, as we came to what we felt were the right conclusions. But even more importantly, we may not have listened to God.
My point is that God’s Word and the act of prayer stay on the shelf of our consciousness. Oh, I don’t mean that we don’t read the Bible from time to time, but applying God’s Word to our day-to-day lives can be quite a different story. You may not feel any connection with God right now, but the key words that I hope you will consider with me are “feel” and “apply”.
I understand all too well that feelings may be overwhelming. However, when they are divorced from God’s Word and prayer, they can be dangerous. This is because we tend to look for instant solutions which may obscure the problem, while taking our eyes off of the One who has the answer. So let’s see how God has blended His Word and prayer in the Psalms, and then we can attempt to join them together in our own lives.
We can use these writings as an example of God’s faithfulness through the deep waters we face, but they are also filled with encouragement to find hope and direction in His Word. First, let’s look at one such struggle in Psalms 42:9. Here the Psalmist cries out to God.
“I say to God my rock, why have you forgotten me? Why must I go about mourning oppressed by the enemy?” (NIV)
While we can hear the discouragement and agonizing tone here, apparently David later wrote Psalms 119:105 as an encouragement. This psalm reminds us that when we face difficulties, we are more than conquerors because of God’s steadfastness.
“Your Word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” (NIV)
God urges you to come to Him no matter what you are going through today, my friend, and take the journey back to peace and joy. Do this, and you will find Him to be the rock of stability in an unstable world.
Thank you for reading this, and may the Lord give you a wonderful week! We are trying to reach people who are hurting, so if God lays it on your heart, please consider becoming a partner with us. If you would like to make a donation, please visit www.hcmachaplains.org and click on the Donate Now link. You can also send donations by mail to HCMA (Healthcare Chaplains Ministry Association). Our ID number is 560. The address is 101 S Kraemer BLVD, Suite 123A, Placentia, CA 92870.
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