Quarterly Journals
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Flip Flop & Bubble Wrap

“God…does great things which we cannot comprehend. For He says to the snow, ‘Fall on the Earth’.” -Job 37:5-6

At 63, I think that I am mature; but growing old does not necessarily make you mature. I know some 70 year olds who act like babies; and like a newborn babe, Baby Christians need constant care, and constant handling. They can’t be left alone. The crave attention. They cry out when they cannot express their need in any other way; and they don’t always know they need something. And newborn babes are satisfied with milk until they begin to grow, and mature. Baby Christians are not the same as newborn Christian, but rather those who have not grown spiritually.

Like a newborn babe, a Baby Christian needs lots of confirming emotions, and God often answers our immature and self-centered prayers, so that we know He exists; and because of our immaturity, He shows up in ways that you cannot miss him. He’s done so in my life so many times, especially in those times when I was getting to know Him. He already knew me, and what it would take to win me and cause me to grow. It was His doing. Not mine. I don’t often tell this story. It’s one of the secret things between me and God – but on one such occasion, He showed up in a miraculous way. It’s a true story, and when I think about it, it takes me back to the place and moment of Awe time when it happened.

My daughter was in her first year of college at Temple University. She was miles away from home. She had taken what she needed with her, but gradually some other needs came up, and this particular time she needed a pair of flip flops. So, I picked up a pair, and I was going to mail them to her from my office that day. But I needed some bubble wrap to pack them in the envelope that I was going to use to mail them. As I walked to my office, I was trying to figure out where I could get a piece of bubble wrap. I had the flip flops. I would get the envelope in the office, post it there and mail it, but I did not have the bubble wrap. It was then that He did it. Just about fifty feet from my car, on my next step, I looked down, and lying there was a piece of bubble wrap. I am not kidding. Who else could have done it? I had not spoken it. I had not even prayed about it, but God knew it, and used that occasion to make His Presence known to me. I realized then, and for a certainty knew that God is Real.

If He can rain down bread from Heaven, He can do anything. He chooses how and when to reveal Himself to those who belong to Him. And in those days in my life when I’m going through something, and I feel like He’s forgotten about me, I remember the bubble wrap. Growing up spiritually means knowing that God knows what we need, and He knows when, and how to provide it. Even when we don’t ask. He did it for me with Flip Flops & Bubble Wrap!

A mature Christian knows that God’s omnipresence and the manifestation of His presence are two different things: One is a fact; the other is often a feeling. A mature Christian knows that God is always present, and His presence is too profound to be measured by emotion. The real test of a mature Christian is – knowing that He is there – regardless of how we feel.

 

Submitted by Deaconess Irene Gardon



Worse & Worse

“…while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.” – 2 Timothy 3:13 ESV

Take note! It doesn’t get better. It does not get better unless we change. Have you ever had to be somewhere at a specific time and realized that you were driving in the wrong direction? If you keep driving in the wrong direction and don’t turn around you will drive further and further away from your intended destination and you chance of being on time for your appointment will get worse and worse. Have you ever had trouble with your health, i.e. diabetes, or high blood pressure? You and I both know that if you don’t stop eating foods with lots of sugar and salt your health will do nothing but get worse and worse.

What about attitude? Have you ever been in a bad mood, or had a day when you knew that your attitude was not good because of a particular circumstance or people that you don’t like? If we don’t change our attitudes about our circumstances or people we don’t like, then our attitudes just seem to get worse. Maybe this is why the Lord said, “But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you.” (Luke 6:27)

Maybe we are to love our enemies not only for their sake, but our own. If we don’t love our enemies, our attitudes toward those that we don’t like may get worse and worse.

We have to be careful about how we respond to people we don’t like, or those who may not like us, because if we don’t respond correctly, the according to Proverbs 14:3, the situation can get worse and worse. “Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fail.” The Lord told people in John 5:14 that if they didn’t change their ways their situations would only get worse [“Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.”]

I don’t think that the Lord is just talking about the things we do, but also our thoughts and our deeds. Satan uses subtlety all the time to deceive us, and our bad attitudes just seem to get worse and worse. Psalms 38:5 says, “My wounds stink and are corrupt because of my foolishness.” It’s possible that the Psalmist is not necessarily talking about physical wounds but using an analogy to describe wicked behavior, disobedience or bad attitudes. Sometime people can smell us long before they see us. If we are too proud to clean up our bad attitudes, the Lord has a way that makes our worse and worse, better and better. He washes us with us Word, and cleanses us with His Blood.

 

Submitted By Deaconess Irene Gardon