Thursday, May 12, 2011

Little sheep

I really wanted to title this post "Little Pig" because it just reminds me of the nursery rhyme "The 3 little Pigs," especially the part where the wolf says "Little Pig, Little Pig let me in...."

The idea of a wolf wanting to get in the door and trying his very hardest to do so is not so far from my point. The verse I chose to memorize this week (at least something stuck from my Lenten fasting) was Luke 12:32. Jesus has just finished telling us that following Him means looking differently from people who chase after things that are temporary. He points out that nothing on Earth worries like we humans do and we do it on a daily basis.

Reared in a culture of consumerism, we grow up being made aware of every physical desire - and a lot of times, painfully aware. If there is not enough food on the table or threadbare clothes on your back - I can imagine your thoughts always come back around to the basics.

But the problem in this house is not a question of being lacking. It is a question of comfort and immediate gratification. Comforts so readily available is a hard idol to get over.

And I call them an idol because, I'll be honest, they get in the way of God - A LOT.

At least one of the major themes of my own spiritual growth during this time of pressure during Sophia's treatment is how much I turn to physical things to soothe my ache. It's not just beer or a 1/2 coke, 1/2 diet coke from Sonic or a pizza or tex-mex, or a new shirt or new phone. Sometimes it's sleep or TV or just closing the door to the outside world because I can't stand to be a part of it any longer.

There are so many things that I can use to plug up the hole.

But what The Holy Spirit whispered to me over this passage was "Your desire for temporary things to satisfy you are getting in the way of you seeing My Kingdom, I want you to put them aside. But you don't have to fear Me asking you because I've given you something much better in its place."

I looked up the original word used for afraid; it is the Greek word phobeo. It means more than just being scared - I think Jesus chose this word because it describes how sheep respond when they get spooked - they run. They don't choose fight, they choose flight.

That just about sums up what I've been doing when The Lord has asked me to change. But my Tender, Good Shepherd always comes looking for me and His Rod & Staff always comfort me better than anything else.

I don't think it is unreasonable that I have concerns about how giving certain things up will effect my daily life. Instead, those are the discussions points - the how that goes with this why of God's design.

The temptation to keep choosing temporal comforts will always be there, whether through the desires of my own flesh or by the devil's prodding. What I'm learning is to look around for "the most excellent way" - which could be a way out but is always a way up.

In the soundtrack of my mind, Jesus is speaking through Bill Withers' classic line:

Lean on me, when you're not strong
And I'll be your Friend,
I'll help you carry on.

My next step over the next few days of prayer and meditation will be to ask "What first Lord?" I pray I will have the courage to stay put and obey, trusting He will reveal His greater gifts along the way.

1 comment:

Gindi said...

It's so interesting b/c I just posted on Lysa Terkeurst's blog about this very issue - and how sometimes we fill our kids lives too w/earthly temporal things in an effort to, I don't know what, give them what we didn't have or provide "abundantly." But I've so recently been convicted of this very issue - a closet full of clothes or toybox full of toys is not what He calls us to do. And it teaches our kids to lean on something other than Christ. Thanks for keeping this in the forefront of my conviction.