DayBreaks for 10/23/18 – So Alike Yet So Different

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DayBreaks for 10/23/18: So Alike Yet So Different

From the DayBreaks archive, October 2008:

On 10/18 my wife and I flew back from Boston where we were visiting our youngest son (middle child) and his family – including our newest granddaughter, Sophia.  She was 3-1/2 weeks old when we got there and the amount she changed during the two weeks we were there is astonishing.  But, rest assured that during the entire time we were there she was the perfect addition to our family, and we now have another blessing from God to love and serve as grandparents.

While I was there, I couldn’t help but be struck by several things:

FIRST: It’s fascinating to see just a tiny bit of myself, my wife, our son and his wife, in the looks of Sophia.  Sure, she’ll change a lot as she grows and gets older, but she’s got her mother’s eyes and hair, our son’s (and grandmother’s) hairline, and arguably she has some aspects of my appearance, too (although most would argue she’s way to beautiful to have anything in common with her Pop-pop [that’s me]!)  As I thought about that, I thought about how in each of us there are glimpses of our Father.  Yes, they can be very hard to see and sometimes we may not be able to perceive them at all, but there is no way that we can avoid some of His characteristics.  They may only be seen when we’re at our very best (which still isn’t very good!), and it may be necessary to look long and deep to identify them, but they are there.  In the most distressed appearance you could imagine, Mother Theresa saw Jesus.  Who do you see?  Do you even try to see Jesus, or some semblance of the Father, in each person He’s created?  If we did, instead of just seeing things we don’t like, we might find this world a much more fascinating and beautiful place.  Some folks just need a bit of help to let those resemblances blossom and flourish.  Maybe we can help them.

SECOND: It’s easy to forget how tiny and small new babies are.  I was amazed at how tiny the little hands, fingers and toes were – how short the little arms are.  Compared to Sophia, I’m a huge monster.  She’s not a little baby – she was eight pounds something when she was born, and she’s been packin’ on the chub ever since – but she’s SO TINY!  And that made me think of how we must appear to God.  With a baby as small as Sophia is at present, it creates a desire inside of me to want to protect her, to hold her, to keep her safe from bumps, bruises and the hurts the world could inflict without even noticing.  As I looked at Sophia, I felt like a giant.  When God looks at us, He must be even more impressed with how tiny and fragile we are.  And yet, He picks us up and holds us ever so gently so as not to break us.  Anyone who can call a universe into existence simply through the power of a spoken word is so far beyond us in power and strength that we can’t begin for one second to wrap our little minds around His greatness and power.  And He’s put that power at our disposal so that when we are walking in harmony with Him, there’s no limit to what He can do through such tiny little babies as us.

THIRD: It’s easy to forget how helpless little babies are.  It’s not that Sophia doesn’t want to be able to feed and clothe herself.  I quite honestly don’t know if she does or not, but when she’s hungry and wants to eat and she can’t feed herself – she lets the world know.  But she just isn’t able to do that yet.  She is still trying to figure out what those things are that show up near her face every once in a while that have five little worm-like things on each one (her fists).  She can’t do a single thing for herself except cry.  Once again, God looks at us and sees people who are totally helpless, who are dependent on the Father for everything – whether they realize it or not.  Does Sophia know that she’s dependent on mom and dad?  No, she just knows when she needs changing or is hungry or when something hurts.  But the concept of dependence, I’m convinced, hasn’t yet developed in her mind.  Hopefully, someday she’ll come to recognize her dependence on the great and perfect Father.  The Father, meanwhile, sees us thrashing wildly around, helpless to do the things that must be done…and so He has undertaken to do those things for us.

Praise be to God, the Father of us all!

PRAYER: Your gentleness is overwhelming with us, Lord.  Thank you for your tender yet powerful hands that pick us up when we fall.  Thank you that you’ve done for us all the things we cannot do, and for remembering our frailty and smallness.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2018 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

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DayBreaks for 12/05/12 – Paintballs and Planets

DayBreaks for 12/05/12 – Paintballs and Planets

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James 3:5 (NLT)-  In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches. But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire.

If an asteroid is ever on a collision course with Earth, it is feasible that the planet could be saved by firing paintballs at it, according to an MIT graduate student whose detailed plan won this year’s prize in a United Nations space council competition announced in October. White paint powder, landing strategically on the asteroid, would initially bump it a bit but in addition would facilitate the sun’s photons’ bouncing off the solid white surface. Over a period of years, the bounce energy would divert the body even further off course. The already-identified asteroid Apophis, which measures 1,500 feet in diameter and is projected to approach Earth in 2029, would require five tons’ worth of paintball ammo. [MIT press release, 10-26-2012]

Small things have great power – both for good or evil, helping or hurting.  Take for instance a stent placed inside of the heart arteries to force it open so blood can flow and life is preserved.  They are very small, yet seem to hold the power of life and death for many stricken with coronary artery disease.  Compared to stents, a newborn baby is positively huge, but they can change the world – and do change the world – for all those around them.  In the Old Testament, Nehemiah holds a plumb line in his hand and check the work of the people rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem, Moses holds a staff, David a slingshot…and those small things brought up walls, parted the seas and felled giants.

I would have never thought of firing paintballs at an approaching asteroid.  But I seldom think about the power of the little things in my life – even how I use my speech.  Small things are huge.  Small things can make the difference between life and death.

Throughout December, look for not just the big, glitzy things, but for the small things as well that are signs of the Love which was coming into the world.  And then do some small things that demonstrate that the same Love that came then is still here today.

PRAYER:  Help us to find and enjoy even the small blessings You scatter across our pathway and to demonstrate that You are still here through what we do! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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