Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Dash Days

My mother’s tombstone reads, “August 4, 1936 – June 13, 2009.”
The birth date and death date are important to remember, but what about the dash days? The dash is the mark between the two dates. Jesus was born and died and those dates are celebrated, but his dash days are very important for us to examine.

We know that God is watching us all the time. He sees all of our dash days. Let your mind grasp the reality of that. Say this statement with me: “All our days are numbered and written in His book” (Psalm 139:16 NIV). If God offered to provide for you, in advance, the day you were going to die, would you want to know that date? Maybe your response to God would be, “No, but I would like to live out my days with your guidance.” Maybe your response would be yes, in which case would you upgrade your availability for your loved ones? Perhaps you would take control of your life and if you choose that, then Christ died in vain.

I had an aunt who faced many challenges in life dealing with a severely retarded son and the loss of her husband at a very young age. Her faith helped her to realize that being happy didn’t mean she wouldn’t have problems. It just meant that she chose to be happy anyway. My memory of her singing, joking and always smiling is forever written in my heart. The absence of good destroys us, yet God promises good will come out of things for those who love Him.

The key to fighting for these dash days is summed up in one little word: rest. Think about it. If your children are hungry, sleep deprived or on overload, what is their response to life like? My kids can get pretty ornery.
When Jesus says that he wants to give us rest for our souls, he also states in Matthew 11:29 to “take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble at heart.”

When someone suggests that you get some rest, try to take Jesus’ advice for rest which is “learn from me.” Jesus taught with the attribute of being gentle and humble in heart. Attributes are our evidence of abiding with Christ.

Don’t dash through your life or it will become a blur. Rest, slow down and enjoy your dash days.

PRAYER: Father in heaven you are gentle and humble in heart I want to learn from you. Give me the fight to learn and rest. Thank you for all my dash days.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:28-29 NIV).

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A Hairy Situation

“She was flicking her hair in my face and it bothered me, so I cut it.” This was my five-year-old son’s logical, nonchalant response when asked why he cut off an eight-inch lock of Sarah’s hair at school. What a way to start the school year with my son! I found myself dealing with a hysterical mother, a teacher who discovered the evidence in the classroom garbage and a classmate with long blonde hair who had no idea how her hair got cut off. Who really is to blame in the situation? My husband and I sat my son down at the beginning of the school year and had given him the dos and don’ts of school etiquette. I guess we left out the “don’t cut a girl’s hair when she keeps flicking it into your face and it’s bothering you” part!

Dealing with my son was difficult because he was so sincere and honest about what he had done. The furious mom actually asked me how I planned to discipline my son. I was taught to let the punishment fit the crime. My son’s hair was already very short and so I could not cut it off, but he was guilty and needed punished. We did have a good talk with him, and the teacher separated their attached desks and put him on the other side of the room.

This experience reminds me of the story where Mary takes about a pint of expensive perfume; she pours it on Jesus’ feet and wipes His feet with her hair. Judas finds out and asks, “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor?”

“Leave her alone,” Jesus replied. “You will always have the poor among you but you will not always have Me.” Jesus suggests in this passage to first spend time with Him and then you will know where to use your gifts and money wisely. We can be serving in so many good ways.

Whenever I read this I think of the lesson: good, better, best. We want to give Jesus our best. You would think giving to the poor would be our best. Jesus clearly is teaching the importance of being led by the Spirit.

My son had a “hairy” situation and did not choose wisely but Mary did.

PRAYER: Lord there is so much in life that I want to do. What do You want me to do with my time? Help me to be strong and learn from You.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:28-29 NIV).