Skip to main content

Squeezing a little?

"I've heard there are troubles of more than one kind; some come from ahead, and some come from behind. But I've brought a big bat. I'm all ready, you see; now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!" (Dr. Seuss) Could it be that maybe some of us just need a bigger bat?  I pose that question because it seems like there are some in our lives who just don't ever seem to get past or away from those problems which "come from ahead" or "come from behind".  It could even be one of us who just doesn't ever get truly "free" of the things which have come as "troubles of more than one kind". I challenge us not to think about those troubles, but the size of the bat we have been given to help us deal with them once and for all!

When the upright need help and cry to the Eternal, He hears their cries and rescues them from all of their troubles. (Psalm 34:17 VOICE)

Peter Marshall had a great perspective on the troubles which come in life:  "God will not permit any troubles to come to us, unless he has a specific plan by which great blessing can come out of the difficulty."  Re-read that if you must because there is something quite profound in that statement - God has a specific plan by which GREAT blessing can come OUT of the difficulty.  The greatness is found IN the difficulty, not by avoiding it.  In the midst of troubles coming from ahead or coming from behind, we find ourselves kind of "sandwiched" in the middle, and this makes for a whole lot of squeezing! This is perhaps why we don't like troubles very much - it isn't the thing which come out of them which we so much resist as it is the amount of "squeezing" it takes to get the blessing out!

Troubles vary in scale from things which mildly irritate us and give us a moment of grief, to the type which almost crushes us under the weight of the thing.  The first type of "inconveniences" we deal with, probably on a daily basis, such as traffic jams on the way to work.  The middle of the road types of troubles may be those things we wish no one would ever have to deal with such as the loss of a job, or death of a much loved pet.  Then there are the really hard ones, like the diagnosis of cancer, or the loss of a loved one. Life is indeed filled with troubles which "come from ahead" and "come from behind", but the outcome will be different depending on what we keep in the forefront of our mind. Yes, I just got a little "Dr. Seuss" on you and made that one rhyme!  Our mind can be filled with doubt, fear, frustration, and the like.  If peace is not what fills our mind in the midst of trouble, we aren't carrying the "right bat"!

In the words of the great hymn penned by Horatio G. Spafford, "When peace, like a river, attendeth my way, when sorrows like sea billows roll; whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, It is well, it is well with my soul. It is well with my soul, it is well, it is well with my soul."  Peace attends our soul - it watches over our minds - steadies our raging emotions - and floods our hearts with overwhelming joy.  No matter the trouble, the thing we use to deal with them is what makes the difference.  As Seuss said, the bat he carried gave him an "edge" over the troubles.  The "bat" we carry in life is none other than that of the peace of Christ which rules our hearts and minds, bringing comfort to our soul and strength to our body.  Peace is not a "thing", but a person - Christ.  It is not the absence of chaos, but the presence of God bringing order out of that chaos.  

The next time troubles approach you from ahead or behind, remember who it is who stands clearly in your defense at that moment of great trouble!  You might just find those troubles begin to reveal what is being "pressed out" by their pressures from all sides.  Just sayin!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

What did obedience cost Mary and Joseph?

As we have looked at the birth of Christ, we have considered the fact he was born of a virgin, with an earthly father so willing to honor God with his life that he married a woman who was already pregnant.  In that day and time, a very taboo thing.  We also saw how the mother of Christ was chosen by God and given the dramatic news that she would carry the Son of God.  Imagine her awe, but also see her tremendous amount of fear as she would have received this announcement, knowing all she knew about the time in which she lived about how a woman out of wedlock showing up pregnant would be treated.  We also explored the lowly birth of Jesus in a stable of sorts, surrounded by animals, visited by shepherds, and then honored by magi from afar.  The announcement of his birth was by angels - start to finish.  Mary heard from an angel (a messenger from God), while Joseph was set at ease by a messenger from God on another occasion - assuring him the thing he was about to do in marrying Mary wa

The bobby pin in the electrical socket does what???

Avoidance is the act of staying away from something - usually because it brings some kind of negative effect into your life.  For example, if you are a diabetic, you avoid the intake of high quantities of simple sugars because they bring the negative effect of elevating your blood glucose to unhealthy levels.  If you were like me as a kid, listening to mom and dad tell you the electrical outlets were actually dangerous didn't matter all that much until you put the bobby pin into the tiny slots and felt that jolt of electric current course through your body! At that point, you recognized electricity as having a "dangerous" side to it - it produces negative effects when embraced in a wrong manner.  Both of these are good things, when used correctly.  Sugar has a benefit of producing energy within our cells, but an over-abundance of it will have a bad effect.  Electricity lights our path and keeps us warm on cold nights, but not contained as it should be and it can produce

Gateway closed, ears open, heart ready

We can certainly hear a lot of voices today - each representing some "cause" or "purpose" we are supposed to get our lives behind. Some are reasonable and seem to catch our attention simply because what they present seems both logical and straight-forward. Other voices are not as forth-coming in their motives, oftentimes not very logical and definitely not telling you the whole story. They simply use a technique that manipulates the crowds until they have them to the place we might call "biting on the bait". Our mailboxes are inundated with this request for "charitable contribution" one right after another; get this product now; attend this seminar to get rich quick; and get these veneers put on your teeth to change the way people perceive you. Lots of voices demanding our attention, but do we recognize its source? Jesus was most concerned with the repetitive 'voices' and 'demands' our world puts out there over and over again - vo