July 14, 2019

The Shepherd's Corner

THE SHEPHERD’S CORNER

During my younger years I once worked as a dishwasher in a restaurant; I only lasted a day. Well, it’s not even a whole day, just a few hours in the evening. Since it’s a busy restaurant, I literally had to stand—picking up and putting dishes in a steam washer— without stopping for even a minute. It’s a valuable experience because it showed me my true strength—not very much!

We can only be as strong as we are made for. You see, we cannot be stronger; we can only look stronger. Yes, I know we can increase our strength by pumping more iron and lifting heavier weight but up to a certain point, we ought to stop. We can’t pass the limit. What we can—and often—do is puff up our look so we will appear bigger and stronger. That’s when we cross over from reality to “really?”
And, that’s when God, in our best interests, intervenes—He bursts our bubble so we will be faced with who and what we are.

There are many ways God uses to pop our bubbles; perhaps the most common one is by allowing us to experience failure. You see, failure is like God’s hand, not only in giving us a new and different direction, but also in turning our heads so we will see what He wants us to see. Next to failure is loss—be it the loss of our loved ones or the loss of whoever or whatever that we have relied on. When we no longer have in our hands what we dearly and normally hold, we feel like our lives—our bubbles—have just burst.

Dallas Willard, in his book, The Spirit of the Disciplines, writes that we Christians must be, “taught to own without treasuring, how to possess without . . . being possessed; how to live simply, even frugally, though controlling great wealth and power.” One of the ways God uses to teach us that lesson is by bursting our bubble.

Pastor Paul

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