Save Me From Sniffles

HEALING! OH, YES.  WE WANT IT NOW.  NO SUFFERING, NO PROBLEMS, NO HURT.  Everything from the sniffles to devastating illnesses – “heal me Jesus!”

When Jesus walked the shores of Galilee, were his disciples ever sick or tempted?  Did they ask Jesus to protect them?  If so, there is no record of him saying to Bartholomew, “No more sniffles.” Or to James the Less, “You won’t have an ear ache any more.”  Zap!  Bingo!  Yes, they were scared from time to time. They got angry.  They were uncertain in certain situations.   I can’t find where Jesus protected them from temptation either. The key was – they left everything to follow Jesus. Talk about total commitment!

“being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 1:6 (niv)

🎼🎶🎹

“Does Jesus care when I’ve tried and failed

To resist some temptation strong;

When for my deep grief there is no relief,

Though my tears flow all the night long?

“Does Jesus care when my way is dark

With a nameless dread and fear?

As the daylight fades into deep night shades,

Does He care enough to be near?

“Oh, yes, He cares, I know He cares,

His heart is touched with my grief;

When the days are weary, the long nights dreary,

I know my Savior cares.”

(Frank E. Graeff)

 

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THE ANSWER

DO YOU REMEMBER GOMER PYLE?  His famous statement was, “Surprise! Surprise!”  Permit me to surprise you.  There are some things that I just don’t know!  And neither do you.  

When I walk into my garage, get into my car, and turn the key, I don’t really know if the car will start.  When I drive down the street I am believing it will be a safe journey.  I make plans for tomorrow, but I don’t know if I’ll be around, make it through the night.  

I have so many questions about life, things that happen; why people suffer, why this and why that?  I just don’t know why my heart hurts.  Why did things happen the way they did?  Will I ever make it?  Where is God when I suffer?  You’ve been there, haven’t you!

Things happen in life that seem to be disastrous.  You may have unsolvable marriage problems.  Your business may be on the verge of bankruptcy.  You went to a formal banquet with your employer and you coughed tea through your nose.  You stumped your toe on the bed frame.  You or a family member developed a devastating health crisis.  Why, O Lord, why? 

The natural response to bad things is to say, “God, if you loved me, why did you let this happen?”

Surprise! Surprise!  We don’t need to know everything.  What we need to know is the comfort in knowing that the One Who is in charge knows exactly the answer and He has the power to work things out to our good and His glory!

How does this work?

“Entering into this fullness is not something you figure out or achieve. It’s not a matter of being circumcised or keeping a long list of laws. No, you’re already in —insiders—not through some secretive initiation rite but rather through what Christ has already gone through for you, destroying the power of sin. If it’s an initiation ritual you’re after, you’ve already been through it by submitting to baptism. Going under the water was a burial of your old life; coming up out of it was a resurrection, God raising you from the dead as he did Christ. When you were stuck in your old sin-dead life, you were incapable of responding to God. God brought you alive—right along with Christ! Think of it! All sins forgiven, the slate wiped clean, that old arrest warrant canceled and nailed to Christ’s cross. He stripped all the spiritual tyrants in the universe of their sham authority at the Cross and marched them naked through the streets.

“Don’t tolerate people who try to run your life, ordering you to bow and scrape, insisting that you join their obsession with angels and that you seek out visions. They’re a lot of hot air, that’s all they are. They’re completely out of touch with the source of life, Christ, who puts us together in one piece, whose very breath and blood flow through us. He is the Head and we are the body. We can grow up healthy in God only as he nourishes us.

“So, then, if with Christ you’ve put all that pretentious and infantile religion behind you, why do you let yourselves be bullied by it? ‘Don’t touch this! Don’t taste that! Don’t go near this!’  Do you think things that are here today and gone tomorrow are worth that kind of attention? Such things sound impressive if said in a deep enough voice. They even give the illusion of being pious and humble and ascetic. But they’re just another way of showing off, making yourselves look important.”

Colossians 2:11-15, 18-23 (msg)

In my book, Write It On My Heart, some of my readers were puzzled about the chapter on Peace.  I think it was because I used the word, ESSENCE!  It is the last chapter of the book.  I quote: 

“Eureka! I’ve got the answer.  It suddenly dawned on me.  Essence! (Remember that word.) We want stuff now. No waiting in line, no diversions, no excuses, no problems, no sorrow, no worry, no hurt, no pain, no misunderstanding, no suffering, no stink, no bum-rap, and no complaints!  Sorry, Charlie! It ain’t a-gonna happen on this earth!”  There is a Greek word,  that means slave – δολος.  It is used all through the Bible in the context of surrender to the will of God through Christ.  “So make up your mind.  If you are going to follow the Master, give it up!  Surrender!  There is a peace that passes all understanding.  It goes far beyond your pain.  It goes far beyond your sorrow.  If you want that liberating release from misunderstanding, blame, and God-questioning hurt, you just gotta make up your mind to be a slave of the one who is saving you for eternity.  That’s the essence of it all!”  

Jesus, in John 16:33 says: “In the godless world you will continue to experience difficulties.  But take heart! I’ve conquered the world!”

“Coming to Jesus,

My Savior I’ve found

Wonderful peace, wonderful peace.

Storms in their fury may rage all around;

I have peace, sweet peace.

Peace, peace, wonderful peace!

Peace, peace, glorious peace!

Since my Redeemer has ransomed my soul

I have peace, sweet peace.

(Haldor Lillenas) 

When Jesus Comes

THERE WAS A TIME WHEN I WAS SUFFERING UNEXPLAINABLE PAIN AND DESOLATION. No one to turn to. No one seemed to care. Alone. Isolated. Catatonic. Annihilated. Eliminated from my safe place – the church.

Thoughts came to me:
• I thought God was supposed to help me!
• Why am I fearful?
• Did I deserve this?
• I was a pastor – I’m not supposed to hurt.
• It was as though I was locked away.

I looked in the mirror and my eyes were swollen from weeping. Many times I had quoted the words of Jesus quoted by Paul in II Corinthians 12:9:
“‘My grace is sufficient for you: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

When you are totally bereft of self esteem, hurt beyond the point when words could come out of your throat, gasping for air, thinking that you would be better off dead, God speaks!

🎼🎶 “One sat alone beside the highway begging,
His eyes were blind, the light he could not see.
He clutched his rags and shivered in the shadows
Then Jesus came and bade his darkness flee.

“When Jesus comes, the tempter’s power is broken;
When Jesus comes, the tears are wiped away,
He takes the gloom and fills the life with glory,
For all is changed when Jesus comes to stay.”
(Oswald J. Smith)