DayBreaks for 3/01/19 – Unwanted

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DayBreaks for 3/01/19: Unwanted

From the DayBreaks archive February 2009:

John 1:10-11 (KJV) – He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

How, I wonder, could Jesus come to his own, God’s chosen people Israel, and they not know or recognize him?  They had been prepared by God Himself throughout thousands of years for the Messiah.  They expected him to come – but tragically, they didn’t see him as anything except a carpenter from Nazareth, a child born out of wedlock, trained in a trade by Joseph.

A widow had children who left her one by one to go to the “new country” (as she called it.)  As they made their tearful farewells, she heard each of them promise her that they’d save money and that they would send for her “very soon.”  Time passed; the children married and had children of their own, but no mention ever came in a letter suggesting they were ready to send for their aging mother.  She deeply longed to see them, but thinking they lacked the means to bring her to the “new country”, she scrimped and saved up enough money to afford on her own to pay them a surprise visit.  She anticipated a joyful reunion with her children and she longed to see them and to meet her grandchildren. Upon arriving her reception was the reverse of what she had hoped and longed for.  Her children had indeed prospered, but seemed annoyed at the surprise visit, and they belittled her old-fashioned clothing and way of speaking.  They had no room for her in their hearts.  The disappointed woman returned home and took up residence in a home for the elderly, where she proved to be a blessing to all about her, pouring out the vast flood of love that her own children had rejected.  She wasn’t bitter.  “It seems to me that I knew what our Lord suffered,” she told a friend, “when He came to His own dear people and they gave Him the cold shoulder.  Just think!  He came unto His own and His own received Him not!  I can understand how that wounded His loving heart.”

Perhaps the Jews failure wasn’t so much that they didn’t recognize Jesus, but that they had no room left in their hearts for this lover of their souls. 

I think we’d best not be too hard on the Jews, however.  How many times have I not found room in my heart for Him when He comes calling?  How many times have I been ashamed or afraid to let people know where I stand, and Who I stand with? 

Jesus loves us.  He came to be with us.  Will we send Him back home alone – and unwanted?

Prayer: Jesus, don’t give up on us!  Keep knocking at the doorway to our hearts.  Transform our hard hearts into hearts that rejoice to see You when You arrive!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.  

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

 

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DayBreaks for 6/8/18 – Peace for the Wounded

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DayBreaks for 6/0818: Peace for the Wounded

From the DayBreaks archive, 2008:

A wounded soldier said to his comrades who were carrying him, “Put me down. Don’t bother to carry me farther. I am dying.” They did as he requested and returned to the scene of battle. A few minutes later, an officer saw the man weltering in his blood and said to him, “Can I do anything for you?” “Nothing, thank you.” “Shall I get you a little water?”

“No, thank you. I am dying.” “Isn’t there anything I can do for you?” persisted the kind-hearted officer. “Shall I write to your friends?”

“I have no friends that you can write to. But there is one thing for which I would be much obliged. In my pack you will find a Testament. Will you open it at the 14th chapter of John, and near the end of the chapter, you will find a verse that begins with ‘Peace’. Will you read it to me?” The officer did so and read the words, Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid, (John 14:27).

“Thank you, sir,” said the dying man. “I have that peace; I am going to that Savior—God is with me—I want no more,” and he was gone.

I have some friends who are going through some real tough times right now.  Some of their struggles are due to their own mistakes, but many are not.  It doesn’t really matter in some ways, though – the pain and struggle with holding on are the same, regardless, and in some ways, it’s worse if the mistake wasn’t your own.  I speak with them, trying to help them find a calm spot in the middle of the storm, but I realize that it is beyond my ability to give them peace.  But Jesus can. 

If Jesus can give peace to a man whose body lies broken and bleeding on the battlefield, he can give it to anyone.  Even you.  We must take him at his word, and let his peace purge our hearts of fear.

PRAYER:  Father, for our family and friends who are so hurt and wounded, we pray for Your peace to fill their hearts and drive out the troubles and fears this day as they look to You, the Wonderful Counselor, the Prince of Peace.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

COPYRIGHT 2018 by Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.

DayBreaks for 6/27/16 – Walking Around Holding Our Wounded

DayBreaks for 6/27/16 – Walking Around Holding Our Wounds

Galen is on vacation. From the DayBreaks archive, June 2006:

“I have on my desktop a picture of a boy named Sasha. Sasha is one of the children of Chernobyl, a young boy born after the disaster that happened when the core at a nuclear facility in Russia melted and leaked. This little boy, Sasha, is perhaps 5-years-old, and he is gripping, with a tiny arm, the side of a crib. His other hand is flailing upward toward his ear, his head and shoulders the only portion of his body not mutated. On the right side of Sasha’s chest rises a lump the size of a softball, and his belly grows out disfigured before him as though he were pregnant, a truly painful sight.

“His legs are oversized and blocky, and he has no knees, only rounded flesh flowing awkwardly to his oversized feet, which produce four toes each, the largest of which, as big as my fist, is distanced from the others and pointing itself in an opposite direction. From the bottom of his stomach protrudes a rounded flow of flesh as though it were a separate limb, stopped in half growth. Sasha, the article in which I found the picture states, is in constant pain, lives in constant pain.

“As terrible as it is to compare Sasha to ourselves, I have to go there. I have to say that you and I were not supposed to be this way. As creatures in need of somebody outside of ourselves to name us, as creatures incomplete outside the companionship of God, our souls are born distorted, I am convinced of it. I am convinced that Moses was right, that his explanation was greater than Freud’s or Maslow’s or Pavlov’s.

“I believe, without question, that none of us are happy in the way we were supposed to be happy. I believe that nobody on this planet is so secure, so confident in their state that they feel the way Adam and Eve felt in the Garden before they knew they were naked. I believe we are in the wreckage of a war, a kind of Hiroshima, a kind of Mount Saint Helens, with souls distorted like the children of Chernobyl. As terrible as it is to think about these things, as ugly as it is to face them, I have to see the world this way in order for it to make sense. I have to believe something happened, and we are walking around holding our wounds.” – Donald Miller, Searching for God Knows What, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2004, pg. 87-88

Let’s face it.  We all have wounds.  Some are old, some are new.  They all are infected and nauseating when we recall them.  We’ve inflicted some of them on ourselves.  Some have been inflicted by others.  But it matters little where they came from.  What matters is that they exist and we shouldn’t try to deny them.  In fact, we need to admit them, and seek help to deal with our wounds while at the same time offering to help others with their woundedness.  And we need to find the faith and the courage to take our hurts and pains to the Great Physician who will one day heal all our wounds.  We’ve already been healed by the wounds that He bore in our place. 

“By His stripes, we are healed.” – Isaiah 

PRAYER:  We try hard, God, to pretend that we’re just fine, that we’re not in pain or infected.  But deep in our hearts, we know otherwise – and so do You.  Give us the courage and strength to admit how full of infection we are and to come to the one place where we can truly be healed of that which will take our eternal life away from us.  Thank you that in Christ’s cross we can be made whole once again, forever.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

DayBreaks for 02/24/12 – The Wound Closed Up

DayBreaks for 02/24/12 – The Wound Closed Up

From the DayBreaks archive, dated 2/26/2002:

(Washington Post/AP, 11/30/01) “Heart surgeon James McClurken of Abington Memorial Hospital in Philadelphia reported in November that his 70-year-old bypass patient was exhibiting an old would that surely indicated that an object had entered and exited his heart.  It turns out that the man had indeed taken a slug, in the Korean War, but thought at the time that it must have missed the heart, but now the surgeon says it passed through so quickly that the wound closed up tight with no ill effects.

What an amazing story!  Talk about being lucky!  God clearly had something for this man to do with his life to have spared him in such a miraculous way when he was shot through the heart years ago.  It is something special when you realize that God has spared your life.  It gives you a new sense of trying to understand what it is that He wants from you.  I don’t know if this man was a Christian or not, but God clearly was acting in his life.

As I read this story, I couldn’t help but have a couple of thoughts:

FIRST: Prov. 4:23 – “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.

Song of Solomon 8:6a – “Place me like a seal over your heart… .

Our heart is such a vital organ.  And when Scripture speaks of our heart, it refers not just to our emotions but our thoughts and to what is our true character and personality.  We need to guard it, to take whatever measures are necessary to protect and seal it.

SECOND: 2 Corinthians 2:7-11 – “7 Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. 8 I urge you, therefore, to reaffirm your love for him. 9 The reason I wrote you was to see if you would stand the test and be obedient in everything. 10 If you forgive anyone, I also forgive him. And what I have forgiven-if there was anything to forgive – I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, 11 in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.

Our hearts are often wounded by the things that people say and do.  Surely we have wounded the very heart of God over and over!  Wouldn’t it be wonderful if when our hearts have been “shot” through once again by someone, that the “bullet” so quickly passed though us that our heart (our relationship with the attacker) would heal itself so quickly that it was as if the injury never happened?  Would that we would never hold grudges!!!  If we could ever learn to forgive the way the Father forgave the prodigal, the way Jesus forgave Peter for denying Him, the way Jesus forgave the thief on the cross – indeed, the way He has forgiven us – the world would be transformed by the power of God’s forgiveness!

PRAYER: Jesus, heal our hearts and teach us to forgive fully and bear no scars for the wounding we have received in this world!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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