Y'know what? No. I'm not going to make this blog note another "abridged entry". My apologies if you don't feel like actually sitting down for a few minutes with me (metaphorically speaking) and joining your thoughts with mine, but I really am going to fly, so strap yourselves in tight.
Bandages: they serve their original purposes well enough. But I felt like it was a waste of perfectly good white space not to use the medical tape on my hand for jotting down stuff I didn't want to forget. So here, on my palm essentially, I have two items written down for my convenience.
The first being, 'PRAY FOR ALL OCCASIONS'. Might sound a little weird to some of you, but bear with me for just a little while. If you had a God who, being your Father in Heaven, wanted you to spend time with Him talking and sharing your thoughts and feelings, would you do that? Because that's exactly what prayer is...it's not some hocus-pocus words that you have to say just right, it's not a chant that you use to "rub the lamp" of God. Prayer should be a confiding in Christ that is so frequent, it matches what Paul the Apostle writes in Ephesians 6:18, "pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests", and 1 Thessalonians 6:17, "pray continually" (both NIV).
See, we're in a spiritual battle (pardon the pun...you can't really see it with your physical eyes). And one of the best strategies that human armies use is one that Satan uses to full effect: divide and conquer. Of course, Satan can't conquer God, and in fact, he probably knows that he's going to lose in the end. But he's still trying to get as many to fall with him as he can, and so Satan likes to attempt to separate us from our Lord, because on our own, we're pretty hopelessly helpless. Fortunately, Satan isn't able to separate us from God...not even when we feel distant. The only thing he can do is play with our minds so that we think God has left us, but it's just that—in our heads.
Never forget what Romans 8:31-39 says. "So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn't hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn't gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God's chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ's love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture:
We're sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one.
"None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I'm absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God's love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us." (The Message)
So the point of all this is, Why would we ignore the very lifeline God has provided for us by not praying at all times? And that's a hypothetical question, meaning the answer is, We shouldn't.
The second item I have on my bandage is something I thought about at breakfast yesterday morning. I like to say that I'm not afraid of anything. That as a child of God, I have nothing to fear.
This is true, but I realized that I am afraid of one thing: That someone I know will be estranged from me, and I will try to fix our relationship and fail.
Something I've noticed about me is that I never seem to make enemies. I know that's a good thing (and probably a God thing, too), but I remember that when I was younger, I found myself wishing for one or two enemies at school, so I could show off my a*HEM*mazing fighting skills when they tried to beat me up. Whenever people I know have problems dealing with someone at school or elsewhere, I am unable to relate at all. Really. I don't have the ability, because no one gives me trouble and I don't give others trouble.
But my mom was talking with me about how one day, it might happen that a friend will be hurt by something I say or do, and won't want to forgive me. I guess that's what my only fear in life is, because it's something that I have no control over. Even when I'm hurt, I forgive others eventually, so I can't (or don't want to) understand why someone would never forgive.
As I thought about this, I came to realize the importance of forgiveness. I think that forgiveness is one of the greatest attributes of God that we humans can characterize in our lives. After all, it is only because of God's forgiveness that, through mercy and grace, we are not all doomed to eternal punishment, as justice would dictate. Forgiveness is something we people can show to everyone. It's not easy for most people, so I'm not judging those who don't forgive, but it's still an act of righteousness that non-believers can see and observe a difference between us and the rest of the world.
Thanks for sticking with me, folks! I hope you enjoyed reading this post.
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Author's note: For a fascinating exposé of the spiritual war I mentioned, read Frank Peretti's book, This Present Darkness. It's a fictitious novel about the conflicts that we people face, slightly dramatized, but still a fairly biblical and accurate depiction of the battles that Christians and non-Christians both fight.