DayBreaks for 11/10/17 – Come, Sit With Me

Image result for sitting with God

DayBreaks for 11/10/17: Come, Sit With Me

NOTE: Galen is traveling.

From the DayBreaks archive, November 2007:

Today I’m just going to share this story told by Larry Crabb in his book, The Pressure’s Off (2002):

One Saturday afternoon, I decided I was a big boy and could use the bathroom without anyone’s help.  So I climbed the stairs, closed and locked the door behind me, and for the next few minutes felt very self-sufficient.

Then it was time to leave. I couldn’t unlock the door.  I tried with every ounce of my three-year-old strength, but I couldn’t do it.  I panicked. I felt again like a very little boy as the thought went through my head, “I might spend the rest of my life in this bathroom.”

My parents—and likely the neighbors—heard my desperate scream.

“Are you okay?” Mother shouted through the door she couldn’t open from the outside.  “Did you fall? Have you hit your head?”

“I can’t unlock the door!” I yelled.  “Get me out of here!”

I wasn’t aware of it right then, but Dad raced down the stairs, ran to the garage to find the ladder, hauled it off the hooks, and leaned it against the side of the house just beneath the bedroom window.  With adult strength, he pried it open, then climbed into my prison, walked past me, and with that same strength, turned the lock and opened the door.

“Thanks, Dad,” I said—and ran out to play.

That’s how I thought the Christian life was supposed to work.  When I get stuck in a tight place, I should do all I can to free myself.  When I can’t, I should pray.  Then God shows up. He hears my cry—”Get me out of here!  I want to play!”—and unlocks the door to the blessings I desire.

Sometimes he does.  But now, no longer three years old and approaching sixty, I’m realizing the Christian life doesn’t work that way.  And I wonder, are any of us content with God?  Do we even like him when he doesn’t open the door we most want opened—when a marriage doesn’t heal, when rebellious kids still rebel, when friends betray, when financial reverses threaten our comfortable way of life, when the prospect of terrorism looms, when health worsens despite much prayer, when loneliness intensifies and depression deepens, when ministries die?

God has climbed through the small window into my dark room.  But he doesn’t walk by me to turn the lock that I couldn’t budge.  Instead, he sits down on the bathroom floor and says, “Come sit with me!”  He seems to think that climbing into the room to be with me matters more than letting me out to play.

I don’t always see it that way.  “Get me out of here!” I scream.  “If you love me, unlock the door!”

Dear friend, the choice is ours.  Either we can keep asking him to give us what we think will make us happy—to escape our dark room and run to the playground of blessings—or we can accept his invitation to sit with him, for now, perhaps, in darkness, and to seize the opportunity to know him better and represent him well in this difficult world.

PRAYER: Lord, let us sit with You today and not run off into some other less beneficial and joyful activity.  May we find in You our greatest joy! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2017 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 4/03/17 – They Still Know His Name

DayBreaks for 4/3/17: They Still Know His Name

When things seem to get out of control, I often try to take control and “fix” things. I suppose it is a natural enough human trait, but that in and of itself should be enough of a warning to me that it’s neither smart nor good. After all, if the Bible knows what it is talking about, our natural human traits are nothing to be bragging about. My efforts to fix things more often than not land me in deep water.

One of the songs I have come to deeply love is It is Well, by Kristine DeMarco. The first part of the song goes like this:

Grander earth has quaked before

Moved by the sound of his voice

Seas that are shaken and stirred

Can be calmed and broken

For my regard.

 

Through it all my eyes are on you

Through it all, through it all

It is well.

Through it all my eyes are on you

It is well with me.

 

Far be it from me to not believe

Even when my eyes can’t see.

And this mountain that’s in front of me

Will be thrown into the midst of the sea.

 

Through it all my eyes are on you

Through it all, through it all

It is well.

Through it all my eyes are on you

It is well with me.

 

So let go my soul and trust in Him

The waves and wind still know His Name…”

These are wise words – words I need to hear – often. I’m sure you need to hear them, too. Long ago, the winds and waves immediately responded to his voice because they knew his name. He had created the elements that made the wind and the water and those things had not forgotten His power. And when confronted by a legion of demons (who begged mercy from the singular Galilean carpenter) they obeyed his voice.

The demons and storms in my life, will, too, if I let go and trust in Him.

Your child may lie in a hospital bed this very moment. Your beloved parent or spouse may be in hospice care and the hours seem to fly too rapidly and the breaths to come too slowly. Your job may have vaporized. Your hopes for the future may have been dashed. And it may seem impossible that the storms in your life will ever stop lashing you. Don’t forget one thing: the waves and winds still know his name, and whatever is troubling you must yield to His power. There is no storm he cannot calm.

Mark 4:38-39 (ESV) – But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”
And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm
.

 

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, our Delivered, we cry to you in the midst of our battle, we rage against the storm that assails us and in the middle of that struggle we forget the power of your Name to still the raging. Let us trust in you to still the storm and give us great calm, too. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

Copyright 2017 by Galen Dalrymple.

 

DayBreaks for 11/28/13 – Moving Thanksgiving Mountains

DayBreaks for 11/28/13 – Moving Thanksgiving Mountains

Luke 10:41-42 (NLT) But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! 42  There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”

An ancient Chinese parable tells of an old man Tan Chang who had a small farm overshadowed by a towering mountain, sending chill into the bones and shadow over the farm. One day he got the notion to get rid of the mountain. With the help of his wife and sons, he began to hack at the rock around the base of the mighty mountain. A neighbor walked by and scoffed, “You will never finish the job, old man! There are not enough days in the year for you to do this.”

But Tan replied confidently, “I am not as foolish as you think, my friend. I may be old and feeble, but after I am gone, my sons will continue to peck away at the mountain. Then their sons and their sons’ sons will do the same. Since the mountain cannot grow, someday it will be level with the ground, and the sun will shine upon our land.”

Today is Thanksgiving 2013.  Perhaps instead of heading into Thanksgiving with joy and gratitude, your life is being overshadowed with some mighty mountain of fear, doubt, despair, anxiety or heartbreak.  As humans, it is a condition to which we are prone!  We are so small and tiny compared to the problems of the world and the problems of our own hearts and souls.  It is easy to let our gratitude be overshadowed with worry, for our Thanksgiving to become a mere ritual than an actual practice on this day. 

The reality of life is that many of the problems that confront us on every side cannot be eliminated instantly.  They can be moved one shard at a time, one day at a time. Jesus, in Matthew 6:25-34 shared this wisdom with us: “So do not be anxious about tomorrow, tomorrow will be anxious for itself.”

Just for this day, set your mountain aside.  Don’t be anxious about it.  Today – be thankful.  Lift your voice and heart to Jesus with praise for what is good in your life.  Thank him for those things.  Entrust tomorrow’s outcomes to Him and for today, revel in His goodness to you. 

A blessed Thanksgiving to you all!

PRAYER: For all who face this day with fear and hurt, surrounded and immersed in problems and anxiety, we pray that they will set their mountain aside and celebrate Your goodness and let a spirit of thanksgiving overflow as we pause to consider all the good that is in our lives because of Your goodness! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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