Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Barkers & Biters

Yes, I’m giving a little nod to the age-old saying. Typically referring to a canine friend, we do – on occasion - attach this idiom to human behavior.

And that’s what I’m doing right now. You see, I’m a barker, but I need to be more of a biter.

As Christ-followers, many of us – especially those of us who are somewhat well versed in the Bible – can spout the truth with the best of ’em. We memorize it, quote it, use it to comfort others and to confront others.  We’re like little, super Bible-quizzers ready for a meet. We think.

But, here’s an issue that same “many” of us face: when a big “meet” in life comes…a test, a trial...we’re often all bark and no bite.

We proclaim the promises of God with our mouths, but way less often with our lives.

I love to share with a hurting friend from Lamentations 3:22-24: “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions NEVER fail. They are new EVERY morning; great is your faithfulness.” I remind others that, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” 

But, when I face something I don’t like? You know what I say? It’s typically not Lamentations 3:22-24, the NIV version. It’s more like this…

“Lord, don’t you love me?! I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I’m being consumed here! Don’t you see how hurt I am? I wake up every morning and feel like I have a little rain cloud hanging over my head.  Where are you?! I’m tired of waiting! I need help NOW!” (This is why my KyV version of the Bible is not flying off the shelves at your local Christian book retailer.)

Oh, human girl with a doubting mind, rebellious bones, a harried heart and…a toothless bite.

I’m not going to get too mystical on anyone…but, there is evil and it has a name. There is a devil. Satan. He hates God, so he hates God’s children. (I personally know some people who do scoff at the idea of God, Heaven, Satan and Hell…but, these are also my same friends who believe that Lady Gaga is truth, the Beatles are bigger than Jesus, and that marijuana magically helps them do their best thinking, so I don’t get too worried about “freak-out fall-out.” And you know I still love you all!)

So, this Satan…he’s been wreaking as much havoc as possible since the Garden of Eden. Where another toothless gal, tried her hand at biting the wrong thing, gummed an apple full of lies, and then wound up getting herself and her hubby kicked out of the most perfect place on earth.

“Did God really say you couldn’t eat the fruit?” We all read the story and bark, “Run, dumb Eve! God DID say that! I just read it! He did! What’s the matter with you?!”

What we really should be saying is…”Not only are you barking up the wrong tree, you’re biting the wrong thing…with no teeth!”

The next time you hear some snake-like hiss, “Did God really say he would be faithful? I mean, in this situation? It’s pretty bad. You may have contributed to it. You may not be worthy of help,” please waste no time munching on that crab apple.

You need to put your spiritual dentures in.  Chew on God’s promises, please your palate with His peace, savor His comfort…then loaded down with a lunch box full of truth and love that never fails, let your light devour the darkness.

Go, be spiritual Pac Men and Women! Let’s get to chompin’. 

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