...running the course God sets before us, no matter the cost, no matter the task, to the end, for His glory

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

When It Is GOOD To Be Fat!

One of "joys" of being a, well....mature....aging.....um...."older" woman is fact that if I eat the same amount food as I did in younger days, I will not...well....let's just say... I will not have the same amount of "padding". By that, I do not mean there is less!

It is one of those dirty little secrets that no one tells you. As you age not only do things migrate south, but also hair that turns grey also turns wiry and unreasonable, and sleep begins to allude you, and body parts that you were not even aware that you have begin to hurt, but on top of all those little party favors, your body apparently begins to forget how to metabolize food.

I'm not kidding.

  • Now one slice of cheese converts into 1/2 inch of girth. 
  • Just looking at ice cream translates to 3 pounds. 
  • And a slice of pizza....well, you can imagine the damage of that!

So you can imagine the joy I felt when I found something that is supposed to be fat!

My soul.

No kidding, just look at this:
The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing,
but the soul of the diligent is made fat.
Proverbs 13:4

And not only do we want a fat soul, leanness of soul is seen as a bad thing:
And He gave them their request,
 but sent leanness into their soul.

Psalm 106:15

Yeah! Leanness is bad! Fat is good!

Well. At least for souls.

When LEAN is Bad 
So how did that bad leanness in Psalm 106 happen?  It happened when the Israelites were out in the wilderness, wandering around and getting hungry and getting worried and doubting God. Nevermind that they had just watched the Red Sea swallow up the Egyptian army, they still doubted God's ability to provide for them.

So they fretted. They complained. They begged for relief.

And then God sent them what they wanted. 

But would they have still wanted it if they had realized the cost? What if God had had them on a program in the wilderness that was going to make their souls fat? But they missed out?

What if what we want is the very thing that will turn our heart from God and make our soul skinny and shriveled and lacking in life and abundance?

Would anything be worth that?

Fatten Up!
So how do we fatten up our soul?

By DILIGENTLY,  persistently, unswervingly, energetically, doggedly pursuing God and what He wants!

Even if it takes us straight into a dangerous wilderness with no water, food, or protection. Even if it is for 40 years. Even if it means leaving all that we know behind. Even if it means heading for a future that is unknown.

The sluggard in Prov. 13 craved. Which means he WANTED stuff. Maybe he wanted an easier job. Maybe he wanted more money in the bank. Maybe he wanted his investments to do better. Maybe he wanted what his neighbors had.

But, what if God had given him what he craved for. Would he have had what he really needed? And what would be the state of his soul? Would it be fat?

Maybe we need to stop craving something, anything, different than we have. Maybe we need to stop complaining about the economy, or the shrinking paycheck, or the government, or the......(and you can fill in the blank there).

Maybe all of that is just the means God has to FATTEN UP OUR SOULS! 

Maybe diligently pursuing God through difficult times is just what we need to have a Fat Soul!

The world offers us:

  • a fat wallet, and an emaciated spirit
  • a prosperous life, and a bankrupt heart
  • a rich job, and a defunct dream
  • an obese brain, and a destitute life
  • an opulent ambition, and a lean soul.

So thank you very much world, but I will take a FAT SOUL if you please.

As the old Gospel hymn goes, "You can have all this world, just give me Jesus."

Thursday, September 22, 2011

"Don't View Life Through the Lens"

"Don't view life through the lens."

That is the advice that my photographer daughter sometimes gets- lovingly of course- from her younger sister.  And in reality it is good advice. If you are always looking through your viewfinder and out through the lens of your camera, you may miss some pretty interesting things around you.

And so having overheard this advice rather often lately, it reverberated in my ears, when I also got to learn this lesson.

I was on a cruise. I know, I know- I am terribly spoiled by my Lord who delights to give good gifts to His children! He takes very good care of my though I neither deserve nor expect it.  But because His very nature is good, He delights to lavish on us unexpected gifts.

And so it was I found myself on a ship, surrounded by friends and having a marvelous time. One morning I woke up early and made my way to the Lido deck first, to procure a cup of coffee, and then on to the top deck to watch the sunrise.

And the sunrise was beautiful. And the longer I stood there, the more beautiful it became. I stood there trying to get the perfect shot, the whole time realizing that my camera could never capture the beauty before me.

And then all of a sudden, a still voice in my spirit beckoned me to put my camera down. And I, as I must confess I often do, ignored the voice for a while because it was distracting me from getting my shot.

But then I listened. And I put the camera down.

And my view opened up.

And I realized....the sunrise was not just in front of me on the horizon. No. It was a 360 degree, technicolor, Vistavision, surround sound, IMAX, 3-D, extravaganza of color and beauty.

I had almost missed it because I was only looking at what was before me.

Then I felt the Lord teaching me a deep lesson:
What I see in front of me is just one small piece of what God is up to. He is doing great and marvelous things all around me. And I need to put down my limited view of looking at things through my circumstance or through my hurts or through my needs. I need to open up my field of view to the 360 degree work of my Lord.

So that morning on the deck I put my camera down. It could never capture all the glory of the moment anyway. Instead of seeing the sunrise through the lens, I got the whole picture and  stood in awe of my Lord and this small glimpse of His beauty.

I realized in a new and deeper way that when I see what is going on around me it is just a fraction of what God is up to.

"He does great and unsearchable things, marvelous things without number."
Job 5:9