Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Lord Over the Flood

ceramic pots

I was watching the CBN News coverage of the flooding in the and was stunned by the devastation. Like many of you, my heart grieves for our neighbors who have suffered such great losses.  The rising waters have submerged whole towns, and as the camera shows us the neighborhoods, it seems like only the mailboxes perched on posts have remained unscathed.

A disaster such as this affects people in different ways.  Most shall recover when the water recedes.  Some have only suffered a minor inconvenience, while others have lost everything they own, homes and business washed away.

But there’s another kind of flood going on in our nation.  People are living through disasters all around us.  A mother struggles to support and feed her children while her husband serves a jail sentence.  A devoted father and husband find himself in the hospital with cancer, and his wife struggles to pay the bills.  Ultimately, their home of forty years and all their retirement savings are washed away in their own personal flood. 

Good people are devastated and cry out to God.  “All the floods compassed me about: all thy billows and waves passed over me.  Then I said, I am cast out of thy sight, yet I will look again toward thy holy temple” (Jonah 2:3-4 KJV)

Don’t give up!  Whether you have experienced a flood of water, or a flood of bad circumstances, know that God cares.  Don’t blame Him.  Look again to His temple.

We live in a world of trouble and turmoil in which the righteous and the unrighteous are affected alike.  God is not singling out you or your community.  The world is a dangerous place.  Know that God cares, and He will help you.  “The Lord sits enthroned over the flood; the Lord is enthroned as King forever” (Psalm 29:10 NIV)

He is our source in times of trouble.  He will give you strength to stand, wisdom to find a way, joy to sustain your soul, and peace to rest. 

As Operation Blessing rises to action, helping those most hurt by these floods, so we who are unaffected must do likewise.  But in addition to those whose only remaining possession is a mailbox on a post, we must aid the hurting neighbors all around us who are trying to survive a myriad of personal disasters, some who even lost the mailbox.  With God’s help we can make it. 

“When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall raise a standard against him” (Isaiah 59:19 KJV)

Become part of the standard that God raises for such a time as this.  You may ask what you can do.  Support disaster relief.  Look at the mailboxes sticking up all around you in your own neighborhood or church.  Many times your neighbor suffers silently and will not ask for help.  Show them you care.  Get involved.  And for those who are hurting, the Lord over the flood sees you.  Help is on the way!



Monday, October 29, 2012

Frost on the Pumpkin, Dust on the Bible.

I remember waking up to the radio alarm one day to the refrain “Hello country bumpkin, how’s the frost out on the pumpkin?” My wife and I laughed and laughed at such words to be awakened with. In this season of the fall harvest when pumpkins seem to spring up everywhere, I think about those days of innocence, those days when our biggest concern was the frost on the pumpkin.

 At this time of the year our nation celebrates Halloween’s many activities, which includes carving out pumpkins and sitting them on the front porch steps. It has become a family tradition for millions of people. Yet very few use the bounty of the pumpkin for food. 

 One year at this time we had so many real pumpkins on our porch, fake pumpkins in the flowerbeds, and even giant blow up plastic pumpkins in the front yard that we earned the title, “The Pumpkin house,” from the neighborhood kids. But we didn’t eat a single one! (Pumpkin, not kids).

 Now here we are again in the fall season when these orange spheres show up in front yards like dandelions on a summer day. We surround ourselves with this beautiful bounty as decoration but the food within we discard on newspaper.

 The Bible says, “Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee” (Psalm 116:7 KJV). Are we enjoying the bounty?

The poet John Greenleaf Whittier, who was born in Massachusetts in 1807, wrote:

“The Pumpkin” (1850)

Oh! Fruit loved of boyhood! The old days recalling.

When wood-grapes were purpling and brown nuts were falling!

When wild, ugly faces we carved in it’s skin,

Glaring out through the dark with a candle within!

Back in the olden days, a carved pumpkin was placed on the family hearth to keep evil spirits from coming down the chimney and into the home to do their dastardly deeds.

Today, in homes across America many have replaced this use of the carved pumpkin with the Bible. Now bear with me a moment. We set the Bible out on the coffee table, enjoy its beauty, and yet rarely pick it up. We know that it holds a bounty within, yet we don’t feast on the rich food of the word when it’s sitting right here in front of us. We dust it, and display it with pride when visitors come, yet how many times, like the pumpkin, does it end up just sitting on a newspaper?

The food within the Bible nourishes our spiritual man within, yet we are starving ourselves and allowing the spirits to enter our homes through the modern day chimney, the television. Now that’s scary.  Wouldn’t our fore-bearers be aghast if they could see us today. We might call them superstitious for trying to ward off evil spirits with a carved pumpkin, but what would they say about us for not even trying.

The wonderful bounty of the pumpkin awaits the pies, while the life giving food in the Bible awaits our eyes.  This season, when you see the pumpkin carved so ingeniously and sitting on the porch, remind yourself of the Bible written so divinely and sitting on your table. It has a candle within which will never go out, and will keep every evil spirit at bay.

Inside the Bible it says, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psalm 119:105 KJV).

So hello County Bumpkin! How’s the frost out on the pumpkin? Hello modern rival! How’s the dust out on the Bible? Happy Feasting!













Monday, October 8, 2012