January, 2016


I’m sick. I’m running a low fever. My throat hurts. My head and nose feel full of gunk. The holidays are over and now is the “after the first of the year” time when I planned to do stuff. I don’t feel like doing stuff.  I feel like laying in bed all day.

I’m not sick very often. I really don’t like it. It disturbs my schedule and makes me feel very vulnerable. How do people who are often sick handle it?
What’s sickness about? Is its purpose to make us appreciate health? Is it an opportunity to savor hot drinks and chicken soup over meat and potatoes? Is it like dreary rainy days that make clear skies and sunshine so great? Is it about recognizing our dependence and morality?  Is it God saying “Stop and just be with me a moment and listen before you dive into all you think you have to do.”? Is it a closed-door to stop us from going somewhere we should not? Is it training in empathy to enable us to better minister to those who suffer greatly?  Is it a chance to see the miraculous power of prayer?
I think I will stop and pray and listen. I believe one say soon I will look back on today and know why and be blessed and thankful, but today, I’m just sick.

Tenuous Trust

I began 2016 by removing a bumper sticker from my truck. The sticker proclaimed my support for a particular candidate for president. I didn’t remove it because I no longer support the candidate; it’s part of my new year’s resolution to be careful about where I place my trust. I still think this candidate would be best for the country, but I feared that the bumper sticker was an expression of trust in the ability of any candidate to really make a difference. That I don’t have. To me “trust” is a two-fold proposition. I have to trust the intentions of the trusted and the ability of that person to do what is necessary. I know longer believe that anyone in politics can do what this country needs; hence, the bumper sticker is gone.

It’s strange whom we trust. For years I thought Bill Cosby was a great guy. One of the few comedians that didn’t rely on vulgarity for humor. He portrayed a wonderful family man on television. I would have trusted him with any woman in my family. Although I firmly believe in “innocence until proven guilty,” it certainly seems that such trust could have been greatly misplaced.

Each day it seems that public figures are not what we “trusted” them to be. Athletes are performing with the aid of illegal drug enhancements. Apparently wholesome product spokesmen are pedophiles. Folks running for public office who say the right things rarely end up doing them. Even eloquent spokesmen for the gospel, turn out to be untrustworthy bags of wind.

It’s not that I trust no one. I would, and in fact have, trusted my wife with my life. Based on past performance, there are many whom I would trust in particular matters. What I really need, however, is someone whom I completely trust with every aspect of my being who not only has the best intentions for me, but the power to do what must be done to make those intentions a reality. Only Jesus meets those stiff qualifications. I base that not only on promises, but on proven performance. My trust in Him has never failed. In times when I felt alone,  looking back I had seen his presence. In past circumstances that seemed harmful and hopeless, I can now see his purpose and his plan.

When we are young we tend to trust in our parents and then in our own ability. It doesn’t take too long to see the folly in that.   The older we get, the more evidence we have of where the placement of trust is warranted. If we’ve never trusted Jesus, it’s no wonder we can become hopeless and cynical. If we have, it’s the reason we can have hope and joy when there is no observable reason for it. It’s just another way the saved are so different from the lost. In God we trust; all else is folly.


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