DayBreaks for 3/14/19 – How Jesus Waits

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DayBreaks for 3/14/19: How Jesus Waits

From the DayBreaks archive, March 2009:

Oh, boy.  As I write this, I’m waiting for a phone call that I hope won’t come.  It is Friday night and I’m finally home and this is the last thing I have to do this week before I can take some time off.  But…I got a phone call not long ago.  I may have to take someone down to the emergency room.  I hope not – I don’t want this person to be injured (they are, but the question is whether or not they need to go to the emergency room because of it), and selfishly, I must confess, this has been a hectic week and I’m tired and I’ve been looking forward to a quiet evening at home with my wife and two dogs and maybe playing with my camera a bit (one of my hobbies).  Waiting…tick, tock, tick, tock…I don’t like waiting.

This morning I waited for my wife to get ready to drive to Santa Rosa.  At the store, we had to wait in line to buy a couple books.  Then, we had to wait in line at Circuit City (they were having the final 2 days of their going out of business sale and it was a madhouse).  We went to Jack in the Box (a cheap date meal!) and had to wait there.  I wonder how much time we spend on average in waiting? 

We are an impatient lot.  If we wait for what we consider to be too long of a time, we get angry and insolent.  After all, we have places to go and things to do and people to see, right?  Waiting…tick, tock, tick, tock…I don’t like waiting.

I don’t like people to have to wait on me.  Let me be 20 minutes early rather than 10 seconds late.  I’m happy that way!  But then I often have to wait anyway because the person I was to meet with isn’t ready for me yet!!!!  Aarrrghhh!!!!

Have you ever thought about Jesus and how he must wait?  He’s waiting to hear the word, “Go!” from the Father to return to the earth and sift the wheat and tares.  He’s waiting to cast Satan and his angels into the pit.  And here’s a shocking one: in the Lord’s Prayer, he prayed “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”  I think he’s still waiting for most of that to come true, too, don’t you?

How does Jesus wait?  Calmly, patiently.  Of course, he has an advantage over us: time has neither hold on him nor bearing over him.  We have finite time.  Maybe that’s why we get so impatient.  But we need to learn to emulate Jesus in our waiting as well as in our walking.  We can redeem the time we spent waiting by meditating on a passage of Scripture, on singing a song to the Lord in our head or out loud (depending on the circumstances).  We can read a Christian book (please, preferably not fiction – but something with some real meat to it).  We can talk to those around us about how much joy and peace we have – and who knows, maybe the conversation will lead to the point we can share our faith.  It’s a much better way to wait than by fuming.

Prayer:  Jesus, may we learn to redeem our waiting time and to honor you in it!!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2019 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

 

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DayBreaks for 1/31/17 – Broken

DayBreaks for 1/31/17: Broken

1 Corinthians 15:53-55 (ESV) For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”

Adapted from our worship bulletin for 1/29/17:

“It’s the message you do and don’t want to hear. I was ready for my flight to take off for an important visit. We were loaded, bags on board, seatbelt fastened. The pilot came on the intercom and said, ‘We have a small lead in the hydraulic. Until maintenance clears us, we will not be able to depart.’

“Ugh. Now I faced the immediate future sitting with a bunch of other people who were ready to depart. No, I did not start sharing the gospel because in a flash the pilot made it works. ‘This plane is not fixable, so  you all have to deplane and we will get you another one as soon as we can!’

“So, we got off, sat and waited. In fact, as I write, I am still sitting. You see this is an unfinished story, Not every story has a neatly tied bow. Some are open ended.

“The good news is someone saw the flaw before a catastrophe happened. So, I am thankful for that. I will arrive, just later than I thought.

“So, where do you want to go? What are you pressing towards? Do you feel stuck? Do you feel like the plane to take you to your destination had arrived, and it broke? Are you having to wait? If so, now is the time to look around at your present surroundings but more importantly, look up! He knows where you are. He providentially has you there. Further, there are unseen and mysterious things going on that you don’t see. The best place for you, in His economy, is where you are. Eventually, you will move, so enjoy the grounding.”

Galen’s thoughts: I’ve been in that same spot – waiting for a broken plane to be fixed. I, too, was grateful that they found the problem while on the ground. Broken things lead to delays and they can be deadly unless the are addressed and rectified.

Life is like sitting on the tarmac. We are waiting the launch into the air, but we are broken. We need fixing first or otherwise the result will be catastrophic. Jesus is in the process of fixing us so that we can safely take wing and fly.

It calls for patience. It involves some pain and frustration. But the eventual outcome is that we will reach the destination that we long for. And it will have been worth the wait!

PRAYER: Help us wait patiently for the perfection you are creating in us! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2017 by Galen Dalrymple.

DayBreaks for 4/5/16 – The Dirtiest Four-Letter Word

DayBreaks for 4/05/16 – The Dirtiest Four-Letter Word?

Acts 1:4 (ESV) – And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father…

If you are like me, there are words you hear that just make your teeth grate against one another. Perhaps it is the word itself, sometimes maybe just the tone of voice or the attitude of the one speaking, but they are not life-giving words.

We have words in our English language that we call “dirty” words, but nowadays it seems that fewer and fewer consider them dirty and use them even in public.

But those are not the words I’m thinking of. On Sunday, the pastor said that he thinks one of the dirtiest words in the English language is this one: wait.

Think about it. When you are little, you are told that you have to wait to get ice cream. You are told you have to wait until you are older to drive a car, to go on a date. When a nervous young man gets down on his knees and proposes, he has to wait for an answer (and maybe she has been waiting to hear the words for a long time!) And maybe the answer to his question will be “Wait.” Then you take your college entrance exams, or your medical boards or some other test and you want to know if you’ve passed, but the answer is that you have to wait to find out. You go to the doctor and have a test run and you want to know if it is benign or malignant…and you are told you must wait.

Waiting isn’t easy. It’s not part of our culture any more.

Yet long ago in the vicinity of Jerusalem as Jesus was giving his disciples his final earthly directions before ascending to the Father, he told them that they had to go to Jerusalem and…wait.

Maybe you’ve been praying for a friend of family member to come to Christ. And then you have to wait…and wait…and wait, wondering if they will ever come to be a disciple of Jesus.

Maybe you are wrestling with a boss who plays favorites and who seems to delight in torturing you. You’ve asked God what you should do, and He said, “Wait.” And you don’t get it. It makes you angry and frustrated. And maybe, just maybe, God is trying to teach you to get over being frustrated when things don’t go your way when you want them to….so maybe the waiting is part of the cure.

We don’t like cures. They are often distasteful and painful. But they are necessary. Healing and recovery take time. And so we must wait.

We must even wait for the deepest longing of our soul – to be at home with our Maker.

I’ve found that most things that you have to wait for are worth it. Things that come quick and easy are disappointing in the long run.

Wait. It may be a dirty word…but it is a good one that we all need to get comfortable with.

TODAY’S PRAYER: Curb my impatience, Lord, and my frustration with you when I have to wait! Teach me to truly believe that your timing is perfect, always. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2016, Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.

DayBreaks for 3/23/16 – Remain and Watch

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Gethsemane, January 2016, Galen C. Dalrymple

DayBreaks for 3/23/16 – Remain and Watch

Mark 14:34 – My soul is deeply grieved to the point of death, remain here and keep watch.

Jesus, of course, spoke those words to his disciples on the night of his betrayal after he’d led them across the Kidron into the garden of Gethsemane.  He was in agony.  I don’t believe it was because of fear of death at all.  Countless men and women have gone heroically, stoically and quietly to their deaths for various causes throughout history.  Why should we believe that Jesus didn’t have the composure to face death?  Certainly, he was not afraid of death for he holds the keys to “death and hades.”  But he was deeply, deeply grieved. 

As I thought about the verse from Mark, I was again reminded of the parable of the wise and foolish virgins.  The five foolish ones had run out of oil and were gone when the bridegroom came to the wedding feast and they were shut out.  They had not kept watch faithfully until the bridegroom showed up.  Scriptures are full of admonitions to be awake, be alert, be on guard, to keep watch.  Why?  Because we have a tendency to be sleepy, to lose our focus, to get distracted by all sorts of other things of lesser value.

As I thought about Mark 14:34, I thought that he could have repeated those words as he ascended, and I also thought about what Jesus would say to us today.  As he sits enthroned at the right hand of God above the circle of the earth and as he looks down at us, I think he would repeat the same thing he said in the garden: “My soul is deeply grieved…remain here and keep watch.”  He is grieved by what he sees – the hatred, the greed, the abuse and immorality.  But he would reiterate to us our mission: “remain here and keep watch.”  We are his representatives here on this planet.  He’s left us here to continue his work and to keep watch for his interests…and for his return.  What are you watching and waiting for?  How are you spending the time he’s given you here?

TODAY’S PRAYER:  There is so much to distract us from terrorist bombings to toothaches and we are so easily distracted, Lord.  Help us to see the things you see, to care about the things you care about, to do the work that you’ve given us to do.  Help us to watch, and wait, faithfully.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2016, Galen C. Dalrymple

DayBreaks for 12/02/15 – Frozen Talons

DayBreaks for 12/02/15: Frozen Talons

One winter day, a carcass was floating down the Niagara River on a cake of ice.  An eagle, soaring above the river, spied it and dropped down upon it.  He sat there leisurely devouring his easy prey. The swift current began bearing him rapidly downward to the falls. But was he not safe? Could he not stretch his great wings and float off into safety at the very brink of the awful cataract?  He’d done it hundreds of times before. So, he floated on.  But by and by came the thundering roar of the falls. The cloud of white mist was towering almost above him. It was time to leave, so he stretched out his magnificent wings for flight. But he could not rise. Unnoticed by the eagle, his talons had sunk into the ice, and the flesh of his prey, frozen hard and fast on the bitter winter day, held him captive in the bitter winter weather. He flapped his wings and struggled with all the power in his muscles and sinews, but it was too late and he soon was swept over the abyss to his death. All because he had waited too long. 

I tend to procrastinate. I know, it’s not a good thing to do. I keep telling myself I’ll stop doing it, but I never seem to get around to doing anything about it! 

Sometimes I procrastinate because I don’t want to do something. For example, we just had to have our water main replaced (it’s about 500 feet from the water meter to our house, so it was a pretty big project.) The work was mostly done about a week ago, but it wasn’t until this morning that I went out and scattered some grass seed on the slope and covered that with some loose straw to help prevent erosion until the grass took root. I hate yard work, so I procrastinated until I couldn’t any longer – it’s supposed to rain tomorrow.

I also procrastinate sometimes because I’m enjoying something else that I’m doing too much to stop and do what I should be doing. In that way, I’m like the eagle in the story above. He was too fond of his dinner and too careless about other things. 

Scripture tells us to not put things off. “Today is the day of salvation.” We are not to continue to feed on our sinful desires until just the last moment and then try to jump into the arms of Jesus. Would Jesus accept us if we had a real, heart-felt conversion at the last moment? Yes, I believe so. He did it with the thief. But is it a heart-felt conversion experience if we purposely try to live the way we want to for our entire lives and then turn to Him when it becomes clear that we’re at death’s door? I think that’s a little too risky for my taste. I’d rather not push God’s mercy that far – goodness knows He must almost be pushed to the limits of His patience with me! 

Hebrews 2:1-4 (KJV) – Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. For if the word spoken by angels was steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward; How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?

Copyright 2005 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

TODAY’S PRAYER: God, we are so prone to laziness or to becoming captivated by things of this world that cause us to lose sight of the danger of sin and sinful living.  Help us not to be so fascinated by the taste of sin that we put off doing what we know You would have us do.  Awaken us from our slumber and stir us to action for You!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

DayBreaks for 9/10/15 – Waiting for Our Room

DayBreaks for 9/10/15: Waiting for Our Room

From the DayBreaks archive, 2005:

“At the walk-in clinic I approached the reception area.  With nobody ahead of me, the medical technician at the front desk listened immediately as I explained I was there to have my purple ankle looked at.  (It had been injured 5 days earlier in a racing incident at the speedway.) After taking my name and my personal information, the lady looked at me and said, ‘As soon as I have a room, I will call you by name.’ 

“As I limped to sit alone in the waiting area, those words echoed in my mind with a reverberation of eternal dimension.  ‘As soon as I have a room, I will call you by name.’  It’s what all of us who are waiting for Jesus to come back have been told.  He said to his disciples, ‘In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.’ (John 14:2&3)  This is the hope of all who have put their trust in Jesus alone.  In the pain of this life and the sorrow of this world we are waiting for Jesus to come back for us.  When our place is ready, He will come for us and (in the twinkling of an eye) finish making us ready for His place.

“But make no mistake!  We are not waiting alone.  Later in John 14, right after telling His disciples that He was leaving, Jesus promised that they (and we) would not be left alone.  In our Saviour’s place, the Holy Spirit would be given to wait along with us.  While we wait (a waiting that is not sitting around doing nothing) God’s Spirit lives in us and teaches us about sin, righteousness, and gives us all what Jesus wants us to have from Him.  Even while we are still broken, God has an incredible and blessed life for us to live.

“In a world that many see void of God, God calls us to live a life full of Him – while we are waiting for our room.”  – Pastor Tim Davis, Copyright 2005

GALEN’S THOUGHTS: I’ve traveled quite a lot with some of my past employment.  I know well the feeling of being bone-weary and bleary-eyed.  Sometimes, when I was really fortunate, I may have arrived a bit early for check-in.  When I would ask if the room was ready yet, there was a part of me that held my breath, hoping against hope, that I could get to the room, kick off my shoes, buy a Dr. Pepper and start downloading my work email.  Sometimes the room was ready – but there were times when it wasn’t, and I had to wait. 

Oh, waiting.  It can be incredibly hard.  Waiting is a pox!  Yet, waiting is also something that produces character in us.  It’s like they said about suffering and tragedy: they don’t really produce character in you, but they reveal the character that is in you.  Waiting does that, too.  It shows what we’re made of.  And the fact that we may long for heaven for the “room” to be finished so we can be invited in may seem grievous, it is also a sign of what kind of character we have and a measure of our faith.  Do you long for your “room” to be finished so you can move in? 

The time is coming when the room will be ready for you.  Will you be ready for it?

PRAYER: Prepare us, Jesus! Help us bide our time here in preparation for eternity! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

© 2015, Galen C. Dalrymple. To email Galen, click here: E-mail Galen.

DayBreaks for 8/11/15 – A Long Day’s Journey of the Saturday

DayBreaks for 8/11/15: A Long Day’s Journey of the Saturday 

From the DayBreaks archive, 2005:

Psalm 6:2-3 – Be merciful to me, LORD, for I am faint; O LORD, heal me, for my bones are in agony. My soul is in anguish.  How long, O LORD, how long?

I’m actually just back from vacation this week.  I needed it.  I’d been pretty worn out the past few weeks.  We had lots of house guests this summer who came and stayed, a few weddings and we just finished our Vacation Bible School on July 29, and it all seemed to just be one thing right after the other without stop.  You know the feeling.  Sometimes life just seems slightly over the edge, doesn’t it? 

George Steiner wrote: “We know of the Good Friday which Christianity holds to have been that of the Cross.  But the non-Christian, the atheist, knows of it as well.  This is to say that he knows of the injustice, of the interminable suffering, of the waste, of the brute enigma of ending, which so largely make up not only the historical dimension of the human condition, but the everyday fabric of our personal lives.  We know, ineluctably, of the pain, of the failure of love, of the solitude which are our history and private fate.  We know also about Sunday.  To the Christian, that day signifies an intimation, both assured and precarious, both evident and beyond comprehension, of resurrection, of a justice and a love that have conquered death…The lineaments of that Sunday carry the name of hope (there is no world less deconstructible.)  But ours is the long day’s journey of the Saturday.”

Our dilemma comes because we live in the nether world between Good Friday and Sunday.  In short, we live on Saturday…stuck half way between the injustice of the world and sin and death and weariness and desperation, and the promise of justice, holiness, everlasting life, eternal energy and the fulfillment of all things.  While most of us who have Saturday off from work long for that day to arrive each week, that “day” we really long for hasn’t arrived yet.  By faith, we can see it just around the corner from where we live.  With age, we hear its footsteps on the gravel path leading to our door. 

In the movie, Gladiator, Djimon Hounsou plays a gladiator friend of General Maximus (played by Russell Crowe.)  At one point in the movie, they speak of their families and wonder if they will ever see them again.  Hounsou says something to this effect: “I believe I will see them again.  But not yet.  Not yet.”  The longing in his voice is palpable.  That is how I long for Saturday to be over and for “Sunday” to arrive, for when it happens, I will see the Savior face to face.  I expect that day to come, but not yet, not yet.

PRAYER: We wait, as patiently as we can, for your return, and with joy for what that day will bring! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

© 2015, Galen C. Dalrymple.

To email Galen, click here: E-mail Galen.