We are not consumed 

I have been praying over some difficult situations lately.  There are several things that are weighing on my heart.  There are so many things that we’ve lost, so many dreams unfulfilled.  I am aware of hurting families, lonely singles, broken marriages, the addicted, the depressed, the discouraged.

At my job lately, I’ve been working a lot of hours.  Sometimes I am amazed at the strength God has provided.  It’s like I am a machine that just goes full steam, nonstop.  I did twelve hours yesterday and didn’t feel all that tired.  The ride home from work reminded me that I am not a machine.  Machines don’t get back pain or have trouble walking into the house.

I thought of the verse:

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” (‭Lamentations‬ ‭3‬:‭22-24‬ NIV)

I just kept repeating the phrase, “we are not consumed.”  

Broken hearts consume us, but we are not consumed.  Sickness consumes us, but we are not consumed.  Hatred, bitterness, fear, sadness consume us, but we are not consumed.

How can we go through life, friends dying, hope crushed, some facing pain and sickness, torture, catastrophe and not be consumed?  It doesn’t even matter if you are a Christian or not.  Living begs the question, “how are we not consumed?”

And maybe you feel like you are consumed.  I feel like that sometimes.  “I can’t take anymore.  If one more thing weighs me down, I’ll die.”

But, I AM NOT DEAD!

I can take more.  I can still move.  I will take one more breath, think one more thought.  You will too.

All because of the love of God.  

As I say this, I see a picture that was posted recently.  The guns of Isis warriors pointed at and poking a small child.  I do not believe that child lived, and it’s last moments were horror.  That is an environment where God’s love has been shoved aside, where man has fully denied God’s heart and run after evil.  That is what would consume us all if God’s love was removed.

I will not accept lethargy, complacency or apathy.  Depression and despondency will not rule my days.  I will wait for the Lord and live in such a way that I bring honor to Him. 

Because I am not consumed.



Home Alone (The Christian Caper)

What do we do with our moments alone?

I talk to lots of people throughout my day, throughout my week.  Everyone struggling, fighting, kicking, sometimes winning, often losing, worried, harried, stressed.  I am too often right there with the masses.  A big question on everyone’s mind is, “how do I get ahead?”  The lottery is such a draw because it gives an option, it provides a hope that things will not always be so difficult.  We envy those who have made it, questioning their morals, their scruples, what it took for them to achieve their status in our eyes.

It comes down to one question.  What do we do with our moments alone?

The guys who sell their souls and families to pornography, to prostitutes, to drunkenness, these are glaring examples of wasted lives.  The soap operas and gossip columns seem so innocuous as to be laughable in comparison.  Romance novels, eating, bingeing, purging, sports bars, internet, video games, revenge, bitterness, hating, fearing.

What do you do with your time?

See, the bible says that satan comes to “steal, kill and destroy.”  All the things that we do fall into two categories, those things that make us better, those that make us worse.  And even that is often determined by how we process, ingest, the things that we see and hear.  We have a choice with what we put in and we, at certain levels, have a choice about how it will affect us.

But don’t be deluded, satan doesn’t care if you have fun.  He doesn’t bring things so that you feel better.  My flesh doesn’t crave only what makes me better.  He wants you and me destroyed, burned up, broken, ruined, mutilated, bleeding, crushed.  My flesh just wants more self, more, more, more.

Strange that God would provide so many good things by the cross, by our daily taking up our cross.  Satan provides honey glazed, sugar and sprinkle coated cow shit that only was designed to kill us.  My flesh gives me empty cravings that can never be satisfied but leave me more empty, more hollow.

And it all depends on what I do when no one is looking, when no one is around, when no one sees.

I say we set up the booby traps of prayer and fasting.  I say we surround ourselves with others in pursuit of God.  I say we fight till our hearts come under the submission to His will.  I say we make the choice to be who we should be, even when we’re all by ourselves.

Then it will be our turn to say, “You guys give up or are you thirsty for more?”